After losing their farm...
They stayed in Kinsman - moved into a farmhouse divided down the middle. They lived on one side and another family who'd also lost their home lived on the other. They continued to farm, just farming somebody else's land.
Meeting the love of his life
Keith met his wife Lois Jean on a street corner. It was a youth festival – a church-sponsored activity-- and she played accordion and he sang. She'd taught herself to play the piano, accordion and organ starting at age three—what would become a lifelong musical collaboration for the couple. Keith's pastor’s wife was Lois’s sister.
Linda Britton-Zier: “Growing up, dad’s main pastime was roller skating!! Every teen congregated at the Roller rink on Friday and Saturday nights. My uncle Lyle and Aunt Wanda skated so well together, apparently, they were like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers! Dad LOVED to skate and did so until I graduated from high school. He and I would skate together sometimes.”
Word of Life Camp
Linda Britton-Zier: "We spent every summer (in the southern hemisphere that's January-February) at that camp. Dad was in charge of supplies. During the school year we had a VW bus mom would put the organ in back and Dad would preach and mom would play and they would sing."
From Linda: That was my first memory when I was 3, sitting on the couch sobbing. He was reporting on the radio on WEEC at that time of the assassination. He was working the teletype. He still has that teletype somewhere.
An attempted kidnapping
Linda Britton-Zier: “When I was 5—must have been about 1966—I was a victim of an attempted kidnapping in Rio. It was a snatch and grab on the street in downtown Rio. There were people pulling me. Mom was pulling my foot. Storeowners came out hitting the people grabbing me with broomsticks and they finally let go and they ran away. A storeowner invited me into his shop. They gave me sugar water. I remember, it was really good, but I'm not sure that was the best thing to give to agitated child!”
Christmas on Copacabana Beach
Linda Britton-Zier: “In Brasil, Dad LOVED going to the beach. On Christmas one year he bought me a little Styrofoam surf board (1966?). He and I took the bus to Copacabana Beach and played for a few hours. It was a sandy ride home but SO fun! He also loved to fly kites at the beach.”
The flash flood
Linda Britton-Zier: “We were living in Rio and we took busloads of kids to the camping the mountains. En route there was flash flood washed away half the mountain. I was 6. We were pulling people into our bus who were caught in the water. Their clothes were washed away, people pulling clothes out of suitcases to clothe them. Where we were parked, the driver said, 'I don't feel safe.' He moved and 15 minutes later that part washed away. We were in two campers, one washed away with Brazilian kids. Two of their kids died. Dad did their funerals.”
They leave Brazil following political unrest. They think they will return but after a year, it become clear they won’t be able to as Brazil began to require all missionaries to pay a $10,000 deposit if they want to go back.
Singing Hills Bible Camp
Linda Britton-Zier: “Around 1972-73, the radio station bought a camp near Corbin , Ky. (Singing Hills Bible Camp) Dad ran the camp for 2 summers. We lived in a small cabin and ate with the campers. Dad organized all of the activities and meetings. Mom played the organ or piano, of course! When campers were gone he loved to hike in the hills around camp. I think we came upon an in rusting still or two doing that! There were games, races, skits and lots of laughs!”
Linda stars in her high school production of "The King and I"
Linda Britton-Zier: “He loved dinner theaters (1970s on) and enjoyed The Sound of Music, fiddler on the Roof and many others. He was very proud when I played Anna in The King and I my senior year. He didn’t cry often, but he’d get a little misty eyed remembering that.”
Bus trips to Branson
Linda Britton-Zier: “In the 90’s, he and mom organized senior bus trips to Branson, MO. They did this through the radio station. It took a lot of work, but they truly enjoyed it! They would see several shows and have nice dinners. Mom and dad would treat the bus to a song or two...”
Keith and Lois Jean loved boardgames
Linda Britton-Zier: "Mom and dad loved playing games. They are playing Othello in this picture. We played Monopoly, Clue, Sorry, Bogle, Trivial Pursuit. Dad would never play cards because it was associate with gambling in his mind."