Cover photo for Keith  Jarrett's Obituary
Keith  Jarrett Profile Photo

Keith Jarrett

December 8, 2021

Asheville

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett, a native of McDowell County and longtime sportswriter for the Asheville Citizen Times, slipped quietly away from this earth on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, at Spartanburg Medical Center. He was 62.

Keith is survived by his wife, Amy Jarrett, and stepdaughter, Taylor Zimmerman, and her husband Michael Bolton.

The son of the late Reid and Pauline Jarrett, Keith also is survived by his three older brothers: William “Bill” Jarrett and his wife, Jeanette; Dickie Jarrett and his wife, Diane; and Kim Jarrett and his wife, Ann. Keith is also survived by Amy Jarrett’s brothers, Pete Godfrey, and wife Ann, and Greg Godfrey.

Also surviving are many nephews, nieces, grandchildren in love, and many dear and close friends who will always cherish their fond memories of Keith, especially his wonderful sense of humor and generous heart.

A graduate of McDowell High School and UNC Asheville, Keith spent 29 years working as a sportswriter for the Asheville Citizen Times, covering the Asheville Tourists, professional golf and college and high school athletics. Keith not-so-subtly avoided covering soccer and motor sports as much as he could.

For much of his career, Keith was a columnist at the paper, chastising coaches and players when they deserved it but lauding athletes and coaches who displayed heart, gumption and decency.

His editors praised Keith for his ability to weave humor into his writing, and for being a true writer, a craftsman who could pen features, columns and game stories with equal skill and style. Jarrett voluntarily left the paper in 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed a year off, courtesy of a Gannett buyout, using the time to play golf, enjoy his many friends and not fill out job applications.

An avid golfer who could hit the ball a mile (and sometimes even straight), Jarrett loved the game almost as much as his beloved Atlanta Braves. Keith would certainly want to remind everyone the Braves won the World Series this year after a 26-year drought.

For the record, Keith also loved two Boston teams, the Red Sox and the Celtics.

For decades, Keith worked behind the scenes in the Asheville area for numerous nonprofits and charities, but he also quietly helped friends and strangers, whether it was by buying someone a Christmas tree or donating to fundraisers for coworkers’ kids. He was a prodigious fundraiser and worked tirelessly for good causes, including the Mountain Area Athletic Club, where he was on the board; and the WNC Children’s Fund and the WNC Sports Hall of Fame, where he served as president of both organizations.

Keith touched countless lives in his beloved mountains, spreading kindness, wit and unconditional love. His family and friends deeply mourn his loss but feel truly blessed to have known and loved him.

Family will hold a private burial at Green Hills Cemetery, in Asheville, but a celebration of Keith’s life will take place at 3 p.m., Dec. 27, at Fellowship Asheville Church, 756 Fairview Road, Asheville, NC 28803. Reverend Fred Baker will officiate. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the WNC Children’s Fund, 117 Sunline Place, Spartanburg, SC 29307.

For those who desire, condolences may be offered to the family under Keith’s obituary at www.WestFamilyFuneralServices.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Keith Jarrett, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, December 27, 2021

Starts at 3:00pm (Eastern time)

Fellowship Asheville Church

756 Fairview Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

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