Master Gunnery Sergeant Keith Arnold Renstrom a.k.a. “Gunny” died peacefully with his loving wife by his side on July 4th, 2018. He was born March 21st, 1921 to Arnold and Ruby Salt Renstrom in Huntsville UT. He always voiced his love and devotion for this country, making this 4th of July and all future 4th of July holidays even more special to everyone who loved him. He embodied what it is to be a true American.
Words cannot express the power, strength and impact Gunny left on this world. Being born into a patriotic family his life was filled with service to his Heavenly Father, country and family through acts of honor and love. He had many loves in life ~ faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, this great country, the Marine Corps, and most notably his beautiful wife, and his family. He lived an amazing life accomplishing many great things. He was very proud having raised a strong and faithful family.
Keith enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1941 and served in both the Pacific and Atlantic campaigns of WWII. With his natural leadership abilities, he quickly rose to a rank he was destined for - Gunnery Sergeant. His booming voice, his strength of character, quick decision making, and strong moral code, Gunny was born to lead, and lead he did, as his own men referred to him as “a Marine’s Marine”. Gunny fought for freedom in the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. Through the acts of bravery and valor, he was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars and on the Island of Tinian, recommended for the Navy cross. “Semper Fi”
Gunny’s service in the Marines had a lifelong impact on the lives of everyone who knew him. He raised his family to love this country, to understand how important our freedom is, and why it’s worth fighting for. He will long be remembered for his visits to schools and colleges where he shared his patriotism by talking about his wartime experiences, participation in Civil War reenactments, love of country as well as his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Following his military service, he was inspired to serve an LDS mission in Hawaii, to teach his former enemy, the Japanese, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This was a life-changing time for him. While serving the Japanese people, he learned to forgive, to love, and to heal the hatred in his heart for his once sworn enemy. Something that many veterans find difficult to do.
Keith married Jody, the love of his life, on January 29, 1966. Keith always said “Family is everything!” As the proud father of seven children, it didn’t take long for this marine to realize that his gunnery sergeant tactics didn’t work so well when raising kids because they didn’t snap to attention like he was accustomed to. He often joked that he eventually learned to listen to Jody, “his new commanding officer”.
Keith and Jody opened the doors of the Valley Center Playhouse in 1975. They took great pride in being the first community theater-in-the-round in Utah County. For almost 40 years, Keith and Jody touched many lives by providing family-oriented entertainment along with endless acting opportunities. Keith is well-known for his energetic introduction “Welcome to the Valley Center Playhouse!”
Keith is survived by the love of his life, Jody, his children Keith Jr., Greg (Melanie), Leslie Gallagher (Craig), Julie Day (Steve), John (Carrie) and Mike (Jerusha), and 19 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter Launa Pino, daughter-in-law Kathy, his parents, his siblings Gaile, Bryan, Darrell and Naomi.
Services will be held:
Monday July 9th
Sundberg -Oplin Mortuary
495 S State Orem
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday July 10th
LDS Mount Mahogany Stake Center
1548 North 900 West Pleasant Grove
9:30 am - 10:45 am
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Interment at Huntsville Cemetery