DELRAY BEACH, FL (Boca Post) (Copyright © 2023) — Delray Beach Fire Rescue to honor 31-year-old Lieutenant Ray Keith who passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.
Ray Keith, a 31 year old lieutenant with Delray Beach Fire Rescue, passed away on Wednesday, October 18 following a courageous battle against cancer that lasted two years. Lt. Keith had been dedicated to serving the residents of Delray Beach since October 2016. We will honor Lt. Keith with a full ceremony to bid him farewell.
“Our hearts are heavy today, and I know that every single person in our department is affected by this tremendous loss,” Delray Beach Fire Chief Keith Tomey said. “Lt. Keith was everything a firefighter should be – brave, kind and selfless. I thank him for his service and sacrifice. Our department will not be the same without him, but he left behind a great legacy in his three children.”
Lt. Keith was recognized as the Firefighter of the Year for 2022, earning his place as one of the department’s first 21 lieutenants promoted to serve as an officer in a rescue company. He held certifications in hazardous materials and actively participated in the DBFR Honor Guard and led the DBFR Explorer program. The diagnosis of colon cancer came in October 2021.
When nominating him for Firefighter of the Year, one of his colleagues described him as someone who embodied perseverance, positivity and class. Another praised his strength and leadership, stating that he served as an inspiration to all firefighters. Yet another commended his humility and compassion while training, working and responding to calls within our city.
“On behalf of the Delray Beach City Commission, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues,” Mayor Shelly Petrolia said. “We are grateful for his dedicated service to our community.”
Lt. Keith leaves behind his wife Amanda, their 12 year old son Gabriel and their 2 year old twins; daughter Willow and son Kairo.
According to a study conducted by the CDC/National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, firefighters face a 9 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14 percent higher chance of succumbing to cancer compared to the general population in the United States.
There will be a viewing from 5 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Palms West Funeral Home, 110 Business Park Way, Royal Palm Beach.
The funeral service will be from 10 a.m. – noon, Thursday, Oct. 26, at Christ Fellowship Church, 9905 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach
The burial will take place immediately following the funeral service at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery, 10941 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach.
Expect traffic delays and road closures.