Keith John Kosmann, age 60, of Billings MT, passed away at his childhood home on Friday April 10th, 2020. He died of a Pulmonary embolism just after coming home from a bike ride and baking a batch of caramel rolls. Keith loved to bake and then loved to eat his baked goods.
Keith was born on August 15th 1959, the 3rd of five children, to Charles and Lois Kosmann. The family home on Burlington Avenue was built in spring of 1961 and Keith lived there throughout his childhood, high school, and then in 2017 bought the home for himself as he treasured the memories it held.
He graduated from Billings West High in 1978 while working at Village Inn pizza. The next summer Keith enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed on the U.S.S. Elmer Montgomery FF-1082 and the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk CV-63. These adventures were a once in a lifetime chance for a kid from MT to experience the world. Leaving the Navy for civilian life in 1985, Keith embarked on a long trail of jobs and careers. First he became an airplane electrician and then later, because he hated waiting for the mechanic to remove a part so he could get to the wiring, he also became the mechanic. This multifunctional career landed him in Pittsburgh, PA where he worked with Pan Am and Lockheed. It ended in Phoenix, AZ in 1998 when Keith journeyed a new path as an apprentice union electrician. By 2004 he had become a Journeyman Electrician, mainly working in Vegas on new construction in the hotel industry. The 2008 recession brought a halt to that and after a few years of waiting on the rolls of the union card to get called up for jobs, Keith became frustrated and took an unexpected turn into his final and probably most rewarding career. In 2013, after becoming certified to be a Phlebotomy Technician, Keith found his place in clinics through-out Phoenix and then finally here in Billings at SCL Health.
Keith’s first car was a 1968 Chevelle SS 396. His love of the car fueled a lifelong affair with big block Chevys. He could tear apart and fix anything on a car. At one point, he built a camper on the back of that 68 (he got the idea from his father who had done the same on the back of a 1959 Plymouth station wagon!). Keith was not someone who conformed to the masses. He ran to the beat of his own drum, and if you could not catch the beat of this drum, you might have thought he was a little touched in the head. But those of us who could hear that beat understood him in all his silliness. A recent co-worker of his said it this way…
” Those of you who knew Keith, those that took the time to overlook the quirkiness that was Keith, you’d find just a guy with a kind heart and witty sense of humor. A guy who went from being a union electrician to a medical assistant mid-career. If it was the way he dressed like a hippie in Tie Dye or the fact he loved stuffed animals, and often drove around with them in his car, the fact that he loved camping with his cat, or the character snoopy, or the color pink, if you could embrace his uniqueness you’d find a loyal, loving friend.”
Keith had a special bond with all of his nieces and nephews… growing up they did not see him much, but when he would visit it was always a treat for them…I mean what kid wouldn’t love to have an uncle that baked cookies and played with RC cars, planes, and stuffed animals!
Probably one of the greatest acts of kindness Keith performed was the caring of our father during his declining health. Keith moved to Billings solely to live with his dad and care for him until he passed away in his own home, as he had always wished. Thank you, Keith, for showing us the heart of Jesus. We know that among all your other amazing attributes, you were a believer in God’s gift of redemption and so we say goodbye for now, but wait in the hope of seeing you again.
There will be a celebration of Keith’s life on June 20th 4pm @ 320 Washington Street, Billings MT 59101
Please call Lance Kosmann 406 661-2684 for details.