With a broken heart, Glenda Natzke and the Natzke family announce the passing of Keith P. Natzke, of Santa Maria, Ca., on June 2, at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Plaza at the age of 85.
Keith Natzke was born December 26, 1933 to parents Norbert and Marion Natzke in Ashippun, Wisc. His family moved to Denver Co. in 1942 where Keith completed his education through high school and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was a combat aerocrewman in an anti-submarine warfare helicopter squadron. He spent many hours flying patrol during the Korean Conflict. After leaving the navy he went to work as a avionics technician for a Cessna dealership in Denver where he accumulated many more hours flying in Cessna aircraft.
After leaving the Navy he met and married Evelyn Poffenroth. They had two children, Lorie and Larry.
They were divorced in 1983 and subsequently Keith married Glenda Venable in 1987. Keith is preceded in death by his parents Norbert and Marian, and by two younger sisters, Sheryl Natzke and Phyllis McKinley. Keith is survived by his wife, Glenda, two children Lorie (Dryer) and Larry, and by seven grandchildren, Connor and Sierra Natzke, Cassandra Dryer Voss, and Austin, Leland, Calib and Daniel Dryer. He also has six great grandchildren, his brother Douglas Natzke and his wife Joanne, and sister Donna Hartmann.
In 1958, he then went to work for Martin Marietta Aerospace Corp. He worked on various space programs including the first manned orbiting laboratory (Skylab) and the Viking program which landed a space craft on Mars. He retired from Martin Marietta after thirty-five years. Keith married the love of his life, Glenda Venable, in 1987, and together they enjoyed their many friends at the Santa Maria Country Club, where he had the bragging rights to two "hole-in-ones" They also enjoyed traveling to many places in the United States and Europe. They especially loved the river boat cruises in Europe. He and Glenda joined the Santa Maria Country Club in 1997 and made many new friends, and greatly enjoyed the social and golf activities. Keith was elected to the Board of Directors for two three year terms. The second term he was elected President of the Board. Keith's greatest enjoyment was playing golf 3 - 5 days per week with his golfing buddies and with Glenda and friends on Sundays. Keith and Glenda were a great team winning many golfing trophies in competitions and invitationals Keith was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was a wonderful, kind and generous person, and above all a true gentleman. Keith will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 11am in the Chapel of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers donations to the Wounded Warrior Project in Keith's name to 8880 Rio San Diego Dr Suite 900, San Diego, CA 92108