Our loving father, devoted husband, sweet grandfather, and a pillar of Pleasant Grove peacefully passed away in the early hours of November 5th, 2020, after fighting Covid-19. Keith Allred was born in American Fork, Utah, to Richard Isaac Allred and Laura Walker Allred on February 10, 1943, and was raised in Pleasant Grove. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Ivan and Merlyn. He was raised in a home that loved basketball and it became his passion at a young age. At Pleasant Grove High School he played for Donald Crump and was an All-American basketball player. He was famous for his half-court hook shots and led his team to the state championship in 1961. In 2000, a couple interviewed by the Salt Lake Tribune who had attended every state championship for 69 years, said, "Pleasant Grove's Keith Allred is our unanimous pick as greatest [player]. He once swished three shots from half-court and none of them was a desperation shot."
After high school, Keith was offered multiple basketball scholarships around the country, but chose to be near his recently widowed mother and accepted a full scholarship from the University of Utah, where he played for the Utes from 1961-1965. Upon graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Education, he took a job teaching and coaching basketball in Escalante, Utah.
In 1967 he was drafted into the Vietnam War and while in basic training he was the singular recruit to be recommended to the elite First Air Cavalry division. This elite unit bravely flew into battle in helicopters. Each man would jump as the "hewy" skimmed the ground and slowly rose, sometimes jumping from altitudes as high as 20 ft. As Radioman for his unit, he was told that his life expectancy during a firefight was five seconds as the Viet Cong would try to target him first. While stationed in Vietnam he became proficient in Vietnamese and served as an interrogator and interpreter. After almost six months in the Vietnam jungle he was injured badly by a Viet Cong hand grenade and spent a significant amount of time on a hospital ship off the coast of Japan. Along with other injuries, three fingers had to be reconstructed and he asked that they repair them in a way that would still allow him to palm a basketball. He was awarded a Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Air Medal, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star. It was challenging to get him to speak about his time in Vietnam as he later disagreed with the United State's participation in the war. Although his time in Vietnam deeply affected him, it never defined him.
After returning to Pleasant Grove and securing a teaching and coaching job at PG High School he was released from active duty. He was the men's basketball coach for over 18 years and the women's coach for five. He enjoyed both the game and strategy of coaching. Also upon returning to P.G., he learned that Judy Larsen, the green eyed, black haired beauty he had met in kindergarten and tried to woo in high school, was also back in town. After successfully courting her, they were married in the Manti LDS Temple December 27, 1969. Judy and Keith's love story is one for the ages and has been a steady and sweet example of devotion and true love. As their bodies have grown older, their devotion to each other has only intensified and become more beautiful. Keith adored and spoiled his sweetheart, Judy, always.
Our father was a gifted teacher, coach, athletic director, sports commentator, a loving LDS bishop, and branch president at the Missionary Training Center. He also volunteered at the Mt. Timpanogos LDS Temple. He loved poetry and was a gifted speaker with an amazing mind and astonishing memory. He had a snarky sense of humor and was known for his quick comebacks and witty remarks. He loved to make you laugh by saying something under his breath at perfectly inappropriate times. We feel grateful to call him Father and grateful that he has made our mother the luckiest companion.
A small family graveside service with Military Honors for our dear father was held Monday, November 9th. Since our mother Judy is still recovering from Covid-19, we plan to hold a memorial service when safe to do so, to give our father a truly fitting tribute. We know that many friends and family will also want to join us in honoring Keith at this later date.
The family would like to express love and thanks to all of Keith's friends, relatives and to the doctors and nurses who have loved and comforted him through this last part of his journey, especially the staff at Heritage Care Center. Our mother would also like to thank everyone for their prayers and love.
Keith is survived by his wife Judy Larsen Allred, his five children: James, Richard, Rachelle (Chris Hopkins), Andrea (Jared Hutchings), and Brittney (Jarom Pueblo). He also leaves a posterity of 3 grandsons (Daxton, Dane, & Lucas) and five granddaughters (Isabelle, Ava, Scarlett, Gwyn, and Isla).
Knowing of your love and concern for Judy, in lieu of flowers and gifts, please consider contributing to a nest-egg our father has already established for her, true love and thoughtfulness until the very end. Cards and notes are welcomed at their home address and will be delivered to our mother. Please also consider honoring our father by wearing masks and following Health Department guidelines.
Keith Allred Memorial Fund: : www.gofundme.com/keith-allred-memorial-fund
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