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Camp Chase Founder, William Keitz, Passes Away

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Keitz

William Keitz

It is with sadness that I report that William Paul Keitz, who founded the Camp Chase Gazette, passed away at his residence in Ross, Ohio in December after a severe battle with cancer. He was born April 23, 1943 in Bellaire, Ohio, the son of Sarah (Metz) and Nicholas Keitz.

He enlisted in the US Navy in 1961 after graduating from high school, and was an E-5 serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. On June 4, 1967, he married Nancy Ann Highley at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Lancaster. Together, they raised two daughters, April Dawn and Kandace Korrine. Nancy preceded him in death in 1982 after losing her fight with breast cancer.

William worked as a designer for Anchor Hocking Glass Corp., Lancaster Glass, Mirror Nuclear Design System, and retired from the Post office in Lancaster in 2004.

He was a member of American Legion Post #11 in Lancaster. He loved to work in his garden, and was a very accomplished artist. On December 22, 2007, he married Joy Francis (Cearley) Keitz. He is survived by his best friend and beloved wife Joy Keitz; daughters April Dawn (Eric) Hawkeson, and Kandace Korrine (Nicholas) Klein, all of Washington, DC

Military funeral services were December 27, 2012. In Lieu of flowers, Bill suggested donations to one of his two favorite charities Smile Train or The Wounded Warrior program, www.charlesyoungfuneralhome.com.

Come a Long Way

Lakeway Publishers purchased Camp Chase Gazette in January 2005. I thought a look back at the Gazette beginnings may be interesting.

Bill started Camp Chase Gazette with Volume 1, Issue 1 in 1972. The first issue was 7 pages, 8 ½ by 11, typewritten and stapled in the top left corner. It was listed as published monthly by 2nd Lt. Wm. Keitz, Lancaster, Ohio.

Page 2, Ohio Brigade News: September 2-3, 1972, the following units of the Ohio Brigade participated in the reenactment of the Battle of Franklin, Tenn., the 1st Ohio, 5th Ohio, 5th Kentucky, 36th Indiana, and the 48th Ohio. This was the second time this year that the Brigade has been fully represented at a reenactment.

Drill competition was a highlight at the earlier reenactments. The 1st Ohio took 1st place in Infantry Drill Competition. The 5th Indiana took 1st place in cavalry drill competition with the 6th Ohio receiving 2nd place. In the best dressed Couples Competition, 2nd Lt. Bill Keitz and his wife Nancy of the 5th Ohio captured 1st place with Captain Wayne Dennis and wife Janet of the 6th Ohio Cavalry receiving 2nd place.

In the Editor Speaks Out column, Bill wrote, “We should also work on our uniforms to try and get them as authentic as we possibly can. It is time we shucked off those blue work shirts and trousers, now that we can find patterns, and people who have those authentic uniforms for sale. There is no excuse for those going into their second year or more, to be wearing work shirts and trousers, not any more.

Bill listed subscription rates at $1 for six months, and $2 for a year. He listed the names of 24 subscribers, and 15 had paid subscription fees. He stated, “Remember this is your 1st and last free issue of the Camp Chase Gazette. Get your money in NOW!”

In the second issue, Gary E. Saum, Leesburg, OH wrote about the (high) price of uniforms and equipment: Fatigue Coat at $24.50; Trousers $3; Kepi $7; Insignia $2; MUSKET $100.; Accoutrements $35.00; and Skirt, Suspenders, etc. at $5.50 and a total cost of outfit of $205.

Reenactments in the early 70’s were not well organized or structured, and Bill was outspoken in his reporting. He did not pull any punches.

The Editor Speaks Out (Bill)….”about the camping area of Perryville, although there was ample firewood for our campfires, there was no convenient rest room facilities, shady bivouac areas and absolutely no authority what-so-ever to speak of to keep the bivouac area quiet. For example, a night battle raged on with fireworks, cannonading and excessant (sic) loud talking at 2 & 3 in the morning.

“Also, I wish to be put on record that I am against the discharging of weapons in the bivouac area whether it be day or night, but it seems as tho it is the coming thing to do amongst some troops, mostly Reb troops, but to my disdain it seems to be spreading amongst some Union troops as well. “He continued about those “Foul-mouthed” “Little Boys” “who with a drink or two for courage always seems to ruin things for others.”

Bill changed the format of the magazine to a 6 inch wide by 9 ½ inch booklet in 1977, and two years later to an 8 ½ x 11 magazine with a heavier paper illustrated cover.

The Gazette has come a long-way in 41 years. We appreciate your continued support and invite your comments and articles as Bill did in the first edition in 1972.

Your Most Obedient Servant,

Reece