Keith Hege

Published 11:21 am Thursday, June 29, 2017

Keith Hege died on June 24, 2017.

He was born Feb. 8, 1946, to Oscar F. and Annie B. Hege. He attended RJ Reynolds High and Oak Ridge Military Academy. From an early age, was always a “foreign car guy” and had a passion for everything automotive. While working for CEW Foreign Car Parts, he met Jim Fitzgerald, who was a flamboyant race car driver for a Datsun Race Team in the 1960s. Mr. Hege’s skills in building and supporting cars forhim for more than 14 years led to Fitzgerald being the most winning driver in the history of the SCCA. It was a labor of love for Hege, and he essentially became a member of the Fitzgerald family. He also worked for the RJ Reynolds Camel GT and GT Pro Series. He enjoyed collecting antiques and loved to barter. He was a skilled carpenter and craftsman. He was a strong supporter of the NRA and the Second Amendment. He credits most of his skill and knowledge of cars to his friend, Jack O’Brian, who helped him build his first car. He also gave his brothers, George and Ken, their passion for foreign cars, which they enjoy to this day. He was a lifelong member of Calvary Moravian Church, and played in the band for more than 60 years. He was a charter member of the E-Band and Lower Brass Band, playing for numerous funerals and services throughout his life, carrying on his father’s legacy.  He loved his tradition of getting family and friends together at the log house he built, with his wife Penny of 42 years, for fellowship and food. He said of their marriage on Pearl Harbor Day that it was “Another day that should live in infamy.” He called her his “jewel of a wife”.

Also surviving: his step-children, Donald Smith, Holly Broadstreet, Cary Boyles, Jim Boyles, and Wendy Johnson; 13 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.

He was a friend to many, a bit of a curmudgeon, with a kind heart of gold. His bark was worse than his bite. Of himself and his life, he said, “I did it my way.”

Memorials: Band Fund at Calvary Moravian, 600 Holly Ave, Winston Salem, 27101.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 2 at 2 p.m. at Salem Moravian Graveyard, with a graveyard service to follow at Salem Moravian Graveyard. The Right Rev. Lane Sapp will officiate.