Keith William Weigel, 66
Keith William Weigel age 66 of Maple Grove, MN, formerly of New Hampton, IA, died Monday, September 5, 2022, at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, MN, from complications of pneumonia.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton.
A visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home.
Online condolences for Keith’s family can be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com.
Keith was born on November, 19, 1955, in San Diego, California, where his father was serving his country in the U.S. Navy. His birth began an extraordinary life of selfless giving to not only his family, but, to his legions of friends and to his community.
Keith was the oldest of William and Marlene (Laures) Weigel’s eight children, and he was a wonderful big brother to Wes, Rick, Bruce, Joe, Luann, Mary and Connie. They remember that Keith “made sure that no food was wasted at the table” and his sisters still fondly recall Keith coming to the breakfast table, massaging their ear lobes and wishing them a good morning.
He grew up in New Hampton, where he was a stellar student at St. Joseph Community School and New Hampton High School. Keith grew to be an outstanding athlete for the Chickasaws — quarterbacking the football team, playing guard on the basketball squad and starring as a switch-hitting, all-state third baseman for the baseball team. Keith also was his class president and active with the National Honor Society and Letterman’s Club at New Hampton.
After graduating from high school in 1974, Keith headed to the University of Iowa, where he played baseball for the Hawkeyes during his freshman year and was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, serving as the chapter president for multiple years. Even after he gave up baseball, he remained active — playing intramural sports and quarterbacking the flag football championship team that included his brother Wes and won that title in Kinnick Stadium.
Keith had a zest for life, and, as successful as he was in high school and college, that was really just the beginning. After receiving his BA degree in business administration, with an emphasis in finance, from Iowa, he worked for a couple of years as a field representative for Delta Upsilon, visiting fraternities in a number of states and sharing his ideas and helping chapters reach their goals.
Moving back to New Hampton, he ran a successful independent financial service for a number of years and was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, serving four terms representing residents of Chickasaw, Winneshiek and Howard county at the Statehouse in Des Moines. Keith was elected as a Democrat. He was proud of the fact that he was more about people than party. Some might have thought Keith was “too honest to be a politician,” but for eight years in Des Moines, he did his best to represent his constituents, once writing “you, the people of this district, are important to me.”
The many accomplishments in athletics, school, and in life don’t tell the entire tale of Keith Weigel’s life. The rest of his story is the most important part, for it attests to the fact that at his core, Keith believed in love and kindness.
In 1990, Keith met Wendy Miller Sorensen at a Knights of Columbus softball tournament, and they eventually began dating and fell in love. They had a long-distance relationship — Keith lived in New Hampton; Wendy in Maple Grove, but boy oh boy, they made it work because they shared the same values. They were married on Aug. 2, 1997. Keith’s friends often joked about Keith’s “Vera,” referring to the popular TV sitcom in which one of the characters, Norm, talked about his wife who never appeared on screen.
Wendy had four children —Eric, Paul, Kara and Krista — and Keith won them over. He was, quite simply, always there for them, and they can’t say enough about what Keith meant to them and did for them. Yet as good as a father as he was, Keith was a rock star as a grandpa to Mikayla, Mason, Levi, Caleb, Grace, Kaylee, Logan and Eliana. He rarely missed any of their activities, be it sports, dance or anything else.
Keith eventually moved to the twin cities. He spent several years as the advocacy director for AARP in Minnesota, but his focus during his “Minnesota years” was on his family. He loved traveling with Wendy, and together, they led tours spanning the globe. Once you traveled with Keith and Wendy, you were hooked because they were such gracious, helpful hosts.
Keith was a natural leader, but he also had a tender heart. He always rooted for the underdog, and anyone who knew him, will never forget that infectious smile or the integrity that he carried with him throughout his life.
We all wanted Keith to spend more time with us, but for 24,398 days, he made the world a better place, a much better place. He was a guiding light to so many, and he leaves a legacy built around family, faith and values. As difficult as it is to say goodbye to this special man, those who love him the most not only know that Mom and Dad greeted him in Heaven but they also will carry their cherished memories of Keith with them for the rest of their lives.
Survivors include his wife, Wendy of Maple Grove, MN; sons, Eric (Melissa) Sorensen of Otsego, Paul (Sarah) Sorensen of Plymouth, MN; daughters, Kara (Ryan) Caldwell of Plymouth, MN, Krista (Kevin) Asmus of Ramsey, MN; eight grandchildren, Mikayla, Mason, Levi, Caleb, Grace, Kaylee, Logan, Eliana; brothers, Wes (Terri) Weigel of Fitchburg, WI, Rick (Luann) Grinnell, IA, Bruce (Callie) of Elma, IA, Joe (Pat) Weigel of Clear Lake, IA; sisters, Luann (Jeff) Woodward of Waterloo, Mary (Phil) Mahoney, Connie (Dennis) Njus, all of New Hampton.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother & father-in-law, Laura Mae and Lester Miller; brother-in-law, Scott Miller