Keith Gehrig

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Graduated with an MFA from Seattle University on June 11, 2017.

Keith Gehrig

08 Jun 1961 - 08 Apr 2024

Clubs & Associations

Heads to the Center
Puddletown Squares
Squares Across the Border
Temple Squares


Golden Boot Award

In 2016, John O'Grady and Leo Champagne presented Keith with the Golden Boot Award.
In 2017, Keith passed the award on to Justin Crawshaw-Lopton and Ross Crawshaw-Lopton.

Medallion Dancer


from facebook

It's with a heavy heart that we want to share the passing of our dear friend Keith. He passed peacefully today after a courageous battle with cancer. He brought so much to this world: animal lover, lighting designer, director, craftsman, brewer, singer, dancer, producer, philanthropist, board member, and so many other things, but most importantly an incredible friend.

Plans for a celebration of life will be shared once available.

Please take a moment to raise a glass in his honor.

— from Keith’s page

Keith A. Gehrig

It's with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our dear friend Keith Gehrig. He passed peacefully today after a courageous battle with cancer. He brought so much to this world: animal lover, lighting designer, director, craftsman, brewer, singer, dancer, producer, philanthropist, board member, and so many other things, but most importantly an incredible friend.

Keith was involved with square dancing for many years. He graduated from our Mainstream Class in 1988 and became President of Puddletown Dancers Board from 2001-2006 and was "Club Historian" for several years. He co-chaired our Rain Festival fly-in in 2003, 2005 and 2008. He even DJ’d a country dance at the 2018 Seattle convention. His badge will be added to the Memorial Panels at Carolina Twirl Convention.

Keith was a frequent Delegate to the IAGSDC at Conventions. He was a former Vice-Chair of IAGSDC (2004-13) and Chair of Petersen Committee (2004-2013). He was awarded the Golden Boot at the Toronto convention in 2016 and took over as Medallion Stepdaddy after the 2018 convention.

Keith was one of Rain Country's earliest members and was at the opening night of the original Timberline. He served as an RCDA board member, he also DJ ‘d for them about a year ago, more recently taught a few line dances.

Keith was also active in local theater, especially the Driftwood Players in Edmonds, WA.

Puddletown Squares

Damn. I just had a note from him this past week. I thought we had more time. Yellowrocks

James Ozanich

My heart breaks Deepest condolences to his family. One of the best

John Mckinstry

This is such sad news. He was such wonderful guy.

Michael Levy

OMG. We are losing too many people way too early. R.I.P.

Keith was such a wonderful, kind, generous soul. I will miss you, my friend.

Sandie Bryant

My sincere condolences. Keith was a very kind soul. He will be missed.

Michael Zalter

Keith was an amazing person and square dancer. My first couple of dances calling for Puddletown he was there to help me learn and understand the “gay way” of dancing.

He was kind, generous, and a bright spot in a world that can be darker than it should be.

I am saddened beyond words.

Stephen Cole

Not fair. Not right. Too soon.

Rick HawesI’m so very sad. Keith was a very special human.

Susan Weil

WHAT?? I had no idea he was still dealing with cancer; thought he had beaten it. What a horrible few weeks this has been in the square dance community. This is a loss not just for Puddletown but for the IAGSDC as a whole.

JW Paulson

Very sad news. Keith was special. Square dance won't be the same without our historian and memory keeper. My condolences to his family, friends, and all who were close to him.

Melinda A. McBride

Please tell me it isn't so! I've known and considered him a friend for 37 years. I don't know what to say other then I'll really miss him.

Bill Anderson

Incredibly sad. We were planning lunch soon, and he let me know he needed to delay... He was such a lovely man. He will be missed.

Danny Lee

Very sad news. Keith was a beautiful soul

Steve Weil

Well shit! One of the kindest, hardest working people. Another huge hole in the IAGSDC family. At least he's reunited with his beloved Chazz.

Pam Clasper

Such a wonderful man...he will be so missed from this world.

Dinah Hartley

Damn cancer! I didn't know that Keith had gotten to this stage with his illness. Last summer, I was delighted to spend time with him during the Ottawa 2023 Convention. We gossiped together, shared our supply of sinus medications, and made plans for the 2024 Medallion Ceremony. I'm all the more grateful we had a big hug and kiss goodbye as we parted company.

We never know when we'll embrace the people we love for the last time.

Lee AubertA very sad day.

Anne Uebelacker

Keith was always so kind to me. When I came back to Puddletown after. a 20 year absence, Keith recognized me and although didn't remember my name, knew who I was as if time hadn't changed anything. What a sweet man who was always kind to me and we had some fond memoies of "back in the day".

Larry Meadows

We've lost a dear friend to cancer!

Keith was one of my first square dance friends and a very special person. He will be missed. I hope there will be a special memorial for him at our annual family reunion.

Ross Crawshaw-Lopton

I can't imagine there not being one. He was the newest step-daddy for the Medallion Project - Iagsdc. He was actually supposed to be here in Palm Springs this week, but canceled lunch plans because of a 'health setback'. It's horrible news.

Bill Eyler

This one hurts worse than usual.

From the start of my first IAGSDC convention, Keith A. Gehrig was my fabulous gay square dancing uncle, but that doesn’t begin to describe how much of a presence and influence he was on lgbtq square dancing.

I am a bit more composed now, so I can try to sort out my thoughts regarding Keith A. Gehrig’s passing, and why I find this to be a huge loss both personally and to the larger LGBTQ square dance community.

Keith was a strong supporter of the IAGSDC History Project, and was one of our team founders. His archival work for Puddletown, and the wiki page he set up for them, set the bar for all other clubs (and the rest of our history team!).

Among Keith’s many achievements, he:

- Served as Stepdaddy Medallion for the Medallion Project, taking over from Stepmother Rick Hawes in 2018. Despite Rick imbuing the Medallion Project with his personality, Keith managed to work with it until it became his own, continuing to commemorate those dancers who had made a commitment to attend ten or more conventions.

- Served as chair of Puddletown Squares, 2001-2005.

- Served on the IAGSDC Executive Committee as Vice Chair, 2004-2013.

- Served as chair of the Petersen Fund, 2004-2013. Even as the Petersen Fund ran out of money, Keith worked with Gordon Macaw and others to prepare for the termination of the fund by creating the All Join Hands foundation.

- Served as co-chair of a number of Puddletown Fly-ins.

- Served as the Country/Western DJ at conventions in St. Louis and Seattle.

- Was the club historian for Puddletown Squares.

Along the way, in 2016, he received the IAGSDC Golden Boot award for his continuing work in the community.

At several points as I tried (several times) to get the IAGSDC History Project started, Keith was always there to encourage and support me, because he believed strongly that we should retain and learn our community history.

On a more personal note, he and his then-partner Richard were my gay uncles in square dancing, encouraging me to become a better dancer and to learn to call.

When not square dancing, Keith was a highly accomplished theater technician (among many other related skills) and took great pride in participating in multiple local theater companies’ productions. He was equally comfortable discussing stage lighting or sound, fire safety, stage fighting, and intricate costume changes.

And he looked FABULOUS in a spandex wrestling onesie.

Allan Hurst

Oh my gosh. He JUST wrote me to say that he was canceling a trip he'd planned to Palm Springs, but hoped to see everyone in Durham. I knew he wasn't well, but I had hoped he'd be around a *little* longer. I'm very sad.

Chip Prince

Yesterday I lost a friend of 37 years. Keith Gehrig was one of the very good people. Cancer is not fair. I like to think he his now playing with his beloved dogs.

Bill Anderson

So there is a problem with joining a travel- based activity when you are young and continue to do it 30 years later. The problem is you have a group of people from all over the US and Canada that become part of your “family of choice”.

Today I learned the very difficult news that one of these “family members” passed away. Our friend, Keith, was such a wonderful person and a very hard-working individual. His dedication and love for our activity (IAGSDC) will certainly be missed. I will miss him very much. My prayers go out to his family, the Seattle club and all his dear friends across the U.S. and Canada.

KEITH…..Know that you were loved!

Michael Spayd