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Ronald Keith Booker, known fondly as "Ronnie Keith," was born on December 17, 1957, in Zellwood, Florida. He was a man who lived life with the spirit of a stand-up comedian, spreading joy and laughter wherever he went. Ronnie Keith, with his infectious laughter and knack for storytelling, left us all in stitches on June 20, 2023, when he took his final bow in Dothan, Alabama.
Ronnie Keith was a man who could sell ice to an Eskimo, and that's not just a figure of speech. He was a salesman by trade, but his real gift was in making connections with people. He was known to say, "The secret to a good sale is a good joke." And boy, did Ronnie know how to tell a good joke. He had the rare ability to turn the mundane into the hilarious, a talent that was as much a part of his job as it was his life.
His love for comedy was only surpassed by his love for his family. He was survived by his daughter, Taiishina Olds; granddaughters: Victoria McQueen and Savannah Douglas all of Tallahassee, Florida; brothers: Reggie (Doris) Booker of Pensacola, FL, Tommy Lee Booker of Graceville, Florida and Raymond (Almedia) Booker of Apopka, Florida; sisters: Rose Mary (Reverend Gerald) Blue of Williston, Florida, Gloria Reynolds of Orlando, Florida, Carolyn Booker and Elizabeth Booker-Lee both of Graceville, Florida. His extended family also included his aunt Katie M. Gordon of Apopka, Florida, sister-in-law Mattie P. Booker of Campbellton, Florida, and his faithful companion, Gayle Knox of Graceville, Florida. The Booker family reunion will never be the same without Ronnie's booming laugh echoing through the halls.
A man of many words and many more jokes, Ronnie Keith was a proud graduate of Graceville High School, where he was voted "Most Likely to End Up on a Comedy Stage." He had a way of making everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room, a trait that served him well in his career and his personal life.
Ronnie Keith was a loving, adventurous, creative soul. He lived by the philosophy of the great comedian George Burns who once said, "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city." And while Ronnie Keith loved his family dearly, he also knew the value of a good laugh and a little space.
He never met a stranger, and his friends often joked that he had a second career as an unofficial ambassador for Florida. Ronnie Keith had a way of making everyone feel like they were part of his extended family, and his home was always open to those in need of a good laugh or a comforting word.
As we bid farewell to our beloved Ronnie Keith, let us remember him with joy and laughter. Let’s remember him as the man who could make us laugh until our sides hurt, the man who never met a stranger, and the man who loved us all as if we were family. His departure may have been untimely, but his memory will forever be etched in our hearts through the laughter and joy he brought into our lives.
In the words of the great Mel Brooks, "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die." Ronnie Keith, we know you're up there somewhere, laughing at us all. And we wouldn't have it any other way.