LANCASTER – Nearly 200 gathered in front of e-Chaps Computer and More Wednesday evening to celebrate the life of Reed Keith, the beloved Lancaster business owner murdered during a robbery at his store on March 23.
Attendees lit candles, embraced and cried quietly as family members, close friends, customers and even those who didn’t know Keith at all, stood before the crowd to share their thoughts.
“I have never been in the shop and I don’t know him at all, but it happened so close to where I live that I just wanted to show community support for this man,” said Lancaster resident Sheila Avery.
“I wanted to be here in support of his family.”
Those that knew Reed Keith spoke about his quiet and humble demeanor, his generosity and wry sense of humor, and his genius and love for fixing computers – often times for no charge.
“He had that love for it to the point where he wanted all the computers that nobody else could fix,” said former customer Roland Hardson of Lancaster.
“Thank God Reed had a good retirement from Southern California Edison, because if you heard a lot of people, he didn’t charge a whole lot to fix computers,” said Lancaster City Council Member Ken Mann, a personal friend to Keith since Keith began leasing business space from the Denny’s franchisee next door.
Mann said he and fellow council members, Marvin Crist and Sandra Johnson, attended the vigil to pay their respects to the family of Reed Keith on behalf of the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster City Council.
“We’re concerned anytime something happens as crazy as what took place last week,” Mann said. “Obviously that’s a terrible tragedy and we wanted to make sure that people understood that the City Council just doesn’t tolerate those kinds of actions in our city.”
Many residents of the city of Palmdale attended the vigil, as well.
“We wanted to let the family know that there are people from Palmdale who are here to offer their condolences and that we feel their grief even though we do not live in the same city,” said Palmdale resident Debbie Dino. “We are just as concerned about the crime.”
“I think it’s one of those situations where there for the grace of God go each one of us,” said Palmdale resident Sandy Corrales-Eneix. “I think that an attack or an assault or a murder upon any one of our citizens is an attack or an assault on each one of us… it’s a shock and it’s a little bit of a loss of innocence for each one of us.”
Keith’s daughter, Casey Keith, said she was overwhelmed and appreciative of the turnout and said it was a testament to the impact that her father had on the community.
“This was amazing, just so many people from the community came out to show their support and love and honor and respect,” said Casey Keith. “I can’t ask for more… it’s a real dedication to the personality of my dad and that’s the most important thing.”
Many vigil attendees also placed flowers, cards, and notes in front of the store and gave donations to support the family.
Casey Keith said donations are still welcome in support of Keith’s widow, Helen, who does not have retirement or aftercare. Donations can be made to Helen Keith and dropped off at AV Computer Doctor, located at 44519 10th Street W #105.
Contact Casey Keith at 661-729-2823 for more information.
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