Keith Edward Solheim

Keith Edward Solheim
Keith Edward Solheim

Keith Edward Solheim, 85, of Madison passed away on Aug. 26, 2013, at Heritage Monona.

Keith was born on March 4, 1928, in Arlington, the son of Sanford and Mamie Janisch Solheim. He married Margaret Dunn of Poynette, on Sept. 15, 1951, in Poynette. They both attended the University of Wisconsin, settled in Madison and had three children; Darcy, Rhonda and Mark, all of whom were born in Madison. Keith graduated from Poynette High School in 1946, and then served in the Navy for two years. He attended Valparaiso University and then transferred to the University of Wisconsin -Madison, where he majored in economics and graduated in 1952. Keith and the family moved to Sheboygan in 1961, where he worked for the Social Security Administration. They moved to Baltimore in 1967, where he continued to work for Social Security until he retired in 1994. Keith and Margaret moved to Clearwater and Largo, Fla., and then returned to Madison in 2011, to be near family and lifelong friends.

Keith had a strong Christian faith that inspired him to be honest, kind and compassionate. He was an active member of a number of Lutheran congregations and served as treasurer of several churches, deacon and Eucharist minister. His outgoing, gregarious nature and friendly smile earned him hundreds of friends. Keith loved bicycling, Dixieland jazz and classical music, and the outdoors. He and Margaret traveled extensively during retirement. They also toured with an Elder Hostel choral group based in Bemidji, Minn., performing in churches and many other venues throughout Europe. Keith was passionate about his Norwegian heritage and was a member of the Sons of Norway. He realized his lifelong dream of visiting Norway in 2010.

Keith is survived by his wife of 62 years, Margaret Dunn Solheim; his daughter, Darcy Tierney and her husband, John Tierney, of South Orange, NJ; his daughter, Rhonda Ashburn and her husband, G.T. Ashburn, of Oak Ridge, TN; his son Mark Solheim and his wife, Allyson Knox, of Washington, DC; eight grandchildren ; and three great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his three brothers; Donald, Kenneth and David.

A memorial service will take place at BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, with Pastor Curt Everson presiding. The family will greet friends and family starting at 10 a.m. and lunch at the church will follow the service. A private burial at Rocky Run Cemetery in Columbia County will follow at a date to be determined. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in the name of Keith Solheim to Agrace Foundation to support hospice care in the Madison area. Please direct donations to Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711. On-line condolences may be made at