Keith Robert Oachs was called by his Savior, Jesus Christ, to his heavenly home on Sunday, July 29, 2018, at his rural home in Baudette, MN, at the age of 79.
Keith was born on December 13, 1938 in Danville Township of Blue Earth County, the second son of Orval and Lilly (Wille) Oachs of rural Minnesota Lake, MN. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mapleton, MN. He attended rural Blue Earth County School through the eighth grade. Many times throughout the winter he and his older brother, Cletus, would ice skate to rural school. He attended high school in Minnesota Lake.
On May 29, 1960, he was united in marriage to Dorothy “Tootie” Fischer at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mapleton. Several months later, the young couple joined a farming adventure with Tootie’s parents, Elmer and Louise Fischer, in rural Minnesota Lake. In 1973, Keith started his career in metal fabrication and design engineering with Year-A-Round Cab Corporation in Mankato, MN. He worked the night shift for almost two years, eventually going to the day shift. He developed a long-time friendship with the owner and founder, Merton Anderson.
In August of 1978, due to his outstanding talent and ability, he received an offer to Eagle Engineering in Welcome, MN. Along with three co-workers they joined a new venture – building and designing farm equipment and eventually off-the-road equipment. This also included frequent trips out-of-state and to Canadian Provinces for testing or design changes in the field. His responsibilities eventually included building and machine maintenance and plant supervisor. Three years were spent overseeing the construction of a new building for Eagle, along with numerous out-of-town adventures to purchase equipment for the new plant. He remained a loyal employee with Eagle for twenty years, reaching the status of longest-term employee with the company upon his retirement!
In April of 1997, Keith and Tootie arrived at a farm in Spooner Township in Lake of the Woods County. A cattle adventure continued for eleven years. After coming to Lake of the Woods for many years to fish and hunt bear, the cattle operation allowed for very little of those much-loved activities.
The next adventure was filled with his love of horses. He developed a great relationship with a Canadian horse lover and owner. So, 42 brood mares later turned into a fabulous five-year venture. Every spring beautiful babies…every fall, lots of “moms” wailing after their babies had left the farm.
Due to serious health issues, the horse project had to end. These issues continued until May of 2017, when Keith had triple by-pass surgery in Fargo. Upon the surgery’s success, he enjoyed a year of good health and some retirement to enjoy his two horses, one donkey, some barn cats, and a little dog named Sophie.
Keith is survived by Tootie, his wife of 58 years; son Robert (Linda) Oachs of Mankato, MN; daughter Sarah (Gene) Kraus of Sioux Falls, SD; three grandchildren, Christina Lynn (Brice) Kubista of Mankato, Lucas Robert (Melissa) Oachs of Janesville, MN, Alex Elizabeth Kraus of Mitchell, SD; five great-grandchildren Zander, Teala and Tairyn Kubista and Cooper and Chloe Oachs; brother Randy Oachs of Plains, TN.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Orval and Lilly Oachs, an older brother Cletus, older sister Vidta Wiotas and an infant daughter, Hannah Lynn Oachs.
Services will be Friday, August 3, 2018, at 3:00 pm at Wabanica Lutheran Church in Baudette, MN. Online guest book at: www.helgesonfuneralhome.com
Keith and Tootie were in the midst of a move “back home” to Mankato. Tootie will continue with this venture and Keith’s ashes will go with her.