The gift, totaling more than $8 million, will ensure Kent’s legacy of community, civic and charitable service will live in perpetuity.
Kent graduated from Baylor University in 1960 with a B.A. in history and minors in English, Spanish, philosophy and economics. He earned an M.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1961 and a master’s degree in library science from the University of California-Berkeley the following year. Kent was a member of the Peace Corps, spoke fluent German and established a library at the Malaysian Teachers College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 1973, Kent and his wife Lucy returned to Waco where Kent served as the Director of the Texas Collection until he retired in 2003.
Kent and his wife Lucy were committed to improving quality of life in Waco and made a tremendous impact in many areas of our community. They were both lifelong learners and avid readers with a host of civic and professional accomplishments. Kent and Lucy were instrumental in the founding of the Sanger Heights Neighborhood Association in 1984, which remained near and dear to him throughout his years. Kent also represented Sanger Heights as a NeighborWorks board member where he helped the organization adopt and reconstruct the Gildersleeve homes with historical accuracy. He was a supporter of many local organizations and boards, including Waco Plan Commission, Fuzzy Friends Rescue, Waco Friends of the Library, the YMCA of Central Texas, the Texas Collection and Mission Waco.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Waco Foundation to receive this gift," Ashley Allison, Executive Director of Waco Foundation. "The impact of Kent Keeth’s generosity will be far-reaching, and Waco will truly be a better place because of his kindness."
Kent believed that being involved in civic and charitable activities was part of being a good citizen, and he always encouraged others to do the same. His bequest to Waco Foundation ensures his legacy of community vision and charitable giving will benefit the Waco community for generations to come.