LOUIS COLUMBUS KEYE, was born September 5, 1931, to Eddie Keye and Idotha (Cottrell), in Uniontown, Ala. As a small child, Louis cried often, so much so that his family called him "Cry-Box," and later shortened the nickname to just "Box."
Cry-Box and his family moved to Buffalo, NY when he was in the second grade. He was enrolled in P.S. 32 where he met Joan Griffin, and a host of lifelong friends. Louis went on to attend Hutch Tech High School, where he played basketball. He began working at Bethlehem Steel. Louis was a Bethlehem Steel employee until the company closed in the early 1980’s.
Louis had three children - a daughter Jennifer, and two children, Karen and Duane, with his wife, Joan Griffin. The couple built a beautiful life together, filled with travel and fellowship with loved ones. He was a neighborhood dad supporting not only his children’s activities, but taking kids to and from little league practices and games. Louis and Joan were married for nearly 60 years, and he truly considered her to be the great love of his life.
One of Louis' favorite hobbies was playing cards, a pastime he took very seriously. After one night of losing at cards, Louis became so passionate that another player actually called him Grumpy, a nickname that stuck. Over the years, Louis was affectionately called Grumpy by many, including his wife, mother, and sister.
Grumpy loved music, and around the house he was known to loudly play his tunes at concert level volumes through Bose speakers. He loved his music and took meticulous care of his albums. The albums had to be handled by the edges only; he had a strict no fingerprints on his albums policy. Albums soiled by prints went through an extensive cleaning process. He spent countless hours working to improve the sound quality of his home stereo system, it included a reel to reel player, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD’s, and even an iPod.
Perhaps, the only thing louder than the music he enjoyed was his laugh. Louis had a hearty laugh that came from deep in his soul. You couldn't help but join in the laughter once he got started. Louis enjoyed entertaining family in his backyard, surrounded by the beautiful flowers he tended.
Grumpy maintained a relationship with the Lord even when his job preventing him from attending church. He was a scratch bowler and bowled in the Shiloh Baptist Church few many years. Later in life, he was a member of 2nd Chance Ministries where he served on the Deacon board, and was a respected father of the congregation. In fact, in 2009, the church honored him with the "Man of the Year" award. He remained a tithing member of the 2nd Chance congregation, even after he moved to Atlanta, Ga. to be closer to family.
Grumpy was revered by his family and by many others who lovingly called him Uncle Louis. He had a quick wit, and was famous for his comical one-liners. He was always willing to help others in need, and will sorely be missed.
Louis is survived by his loving sister Bernice “Cookie” Smith (whom he spoke with nearly every day), children Jennifer, Karen, Duane (Stephanie), grandchildren: Kamille, Jonathan, Shelby, and Shannon, and two great-granddaughters Diamond “Diane” and Jade.
Family will receive friends Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 1:00 p.m. , at Second Chance Ministry, 381 E. Ferry Ave., Buffalo, New York 14208. Memorial service to follow 2:00 p.m.