William Keith Brubaker of Greenville (93)


William Keith Brubaker, 93, of Greenville, Ohio, formerly from Piqua, Ohio, and Sanford, FL, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 9, 2024, at Ayden Healthcare, Greenville. William, who went by Bill, was born July 24, 1930, in Piqua. He was the middle son of the late Elmer Abraham Brubaker and Bertha Mae (Norris) Brubaker.  

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his first wife, Joanne Yvonne (Green) Brubaker, his second wife, Donna Joan (Mikesell) Brubaker, and his brothers Linden Brubaker and Maurice Brubaker. 

Bill was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and, more recently, great-great-grandfather. He was known to be kind, loving, and good-natured. Having lived in Wayne Lakes, Bill liked to fish. He liked to teach others how to fish, especially the children in his family. He had a green thumb when it came to growing tomatoes, which he planted in raised beds next to his house. He was handy with household repairs and liked to build practical objects. He was always willing to help others. His gentle sense of humor made him likable and comfortable to be around. 

Bill served his country in the United States Air Force from 1950 – 1954. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, where he was part of the 25th Supply Squadron during the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged as a Private First Class Airman and received the following awards: National Defense Service, Korean Service, United Nations Service, and Good Conduct medals.

Having lived half of his life in Piqua, Bill was employed by Hartzell Propeller Company for many years. Following his move to Sanford, Florida, in 1971, Bill became the General Manager of the Sanford Holiday Inn. His management career also included restaurants in Houston, TX, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta, GA. 

Bill met his second wife, Donna Joan, at the Brethren Home in Greenville, where Joan served as an aide to Bill’s mother, Bertha Brubaker. Bill and Donna Joan were married in April 1992 and moved to Wayne Lakes soon thereafter. Donna Joan, a widow when Bill met her, came from a large family. Her brothers and sisters, children, and grandchildren “adopted” Bill, and family activities were the mainstay of their social life.  

Bill’s parents, Elmer and Bertha Brubaker were co-founders of the Piqua Church of the Brethren, where Bill was raised and baptized. After moving to Greenville later in life, Bill joined the Beech Grove Church of the Brethren in Hollansburg.

Bill is survived by two children from his first wife; Lamont Brubaker (Dwann), of the Villages, FL and Jolene Brubaker Baxter (Jeff) of Ijamsville, MD. Grandchildren from his first marriage include Jason Brubaker (Beth) of Alexandria, KY, Stacie Brubaker Marksbury (Lee Davis) of Isle of Palm, SC, and Jennifer Elizabeth Baxter, Ijamsville, MD; great-grandchildren, Harrison Marksbury and Griffen Marksbury of Isle of Palm, SC, and Harper Brubaker, Alexandria, KY. 

Bill’s surviving “adopted” family includes sons Tim Locke (Pam) of Ludlow Falls, Ohio, and Travis Locke, Jr. (Nancy) of Ladson, South Carolina; grandchildren Amy Locke of Ansonia, Adam Locke (Ashlea) of Greenville, Josh Locke (Megan) of Arcanum, Sarah Locke Kress (Kevin) of Bradford, Emily Locke Webb (Rodney) of Jacksonville, FL, and Bethany Locke of Greenville. Sadly, an adult grandson, Jeremy Locke (Jessie) of Brookville, preceded Bill in death in 2013.

Great-grandchildren from his second wife’s family include Mikey Locke, Evan (Cheyanne) Locke, Owen Locke, Avalyn Locke, Elly Locke, Mahayla Locke, Maybree Locke, Malone Locke, Averie Kress, Reegan Kress, Sawyer Kress, and great great granddaughter, Lakelyn Locke.

Bill had close relationships with family members from both marriages, including Gary (Jeni) Green, Margene (Dan) Jay, Beckie Wagner, Brenda (Donnie) Anthony, Diana Allen, Brian Brubaker, and Mike (Missy) Brubaker. Also, Joyce Mikesell, Terry Mikesell, Donnie (Charlene) Mikesell, Kathy (Don) Tackit, Ellen (Gene) Snyder, and Caroline Hawkins.

Bill was beloved by many and will be sorely missed. 

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Beech Grove Church of the Brethren, 3420 Harrison Road, Hollansburg, Ohio, 45332. Visitation with the family begins at 10 a.m., with a service to follow at 11:00 a.m. Reverend George Glaze will officiate. A luncheon, generously provided by the Beech Grove church members, will follow the service. All who knew and loved Bill are welcome to attend the service and luncheon.  

A private interment will be held after the luncheon. Arrangements have been entrusted to Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville, Ohio. The family wishes, in lieu of flowers, that contributions be made to Beech Grove Church of the Brethren, www.beechgrovecotb.com. 

Condolences for the family may be sent to www.zecharbailey.com