Richard Keysor, former SCV Man of the Year, dies

Richard Keysor, 91, with his wife Arlene. Courtesy of photo.
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Richard Keysor, a former Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year, has died.

Keysor, 91, is remembered as being an executive with Keysor-Century, a former company located in Saugus, and a local philanthropist.

Keysor died at his home in Santa Clarita on May 20.

Keysor was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and while growing up, his younger sister Kathy Kellar, said the family had a 1929 Dodge the family used to transport the family to and fro. The family’s three kids, including Keysor, paint the beat-up old car with regular paint brushes in bright red; the wooden spokes for the tires were painted yellow.

During Keysor’s senior year of high school, the family decided to move to Burbank. Keysor’s parents offered to let him stay in Utah for his senior year, but Keysor, his younger brother Robert said on Saturday, decided to do his final year of high school in Burbank because he wanted to stay with his family.

Robert said his brother always wanted to be good to his family, and included his little brother in all their activities.

After graduating from Burbank High School, Keysor served as a church missionary in Hawaii before he returned to the mainland United States to complete his schooling at UCLA and the University of Utah.

Keysor was a lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1954-56, serving during the Korean War at McChord Field in Tacoma, Washington.

In 1957, he helped arrange the move of Keysor-Century Corp., where he worked in various executive capacities, including president and CEO, until it closed in 2002.

During his time living in Santa Clarita, Keysor became one of the founding board members of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, served as area chairman of the United Way Santa Clarita campaign, was Hart District chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, board member of the Michael Hoefflin Foundation and served as a trustee for 12 years on the Sulphur Springs Union School District board.

Keysor served as a long-time board member and president of the board for the SCV Boys & Girls Club.

Keysor and his wife, Arlene, were recipients of the Sulphur Springs Union School District PTA Founders’ Award. In 1987, he was nominated for the Southern California National “Philanthropist of the Year” award for having donated more than 25,000 hours of community service.

In 1989, Keysor was named Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year.

Keysor was active in his church, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, and served as a bishop twice.

Keysor is survived by his wife, nine children — who all attended Sulphur Springs Elementary School, Canyon High School and Brigham Young University — as well as his 33 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.

“He lived his life serving other people, especially in his community,” said Kellar of her brother. “He was a great brother, a great example to me.”

Private graveside services will be held at Eternal Valley Mortuary on May 30, 2020. For further information, contact [email protected], or the dignitymemorial.com website.

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