After a courageous and hard-fought battle with Cancer, Keith Douglas Walker, 40, was surrounded by loved ones when he took his last breath at the Hospice House in Virginia Beach, Virginia on November 9th at 9:19 PM. Keith, also known as “Blunt Daddy” due to his mad skills in freestyle rap and zest for Hip Hop music, was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to parents Irene Rosentreter and Jeffrey Walker. He is survived by his loving and devoted girlfriend, Kayla Garren, and their love child, “Duke the Dog” of Virginia Beach; his mother, Irene Rosentreter of Chesapeake; his father, Jeffrey Walker (Lily) of Del Valle, TX; his sisters, Teresa Snow (Charles) and Regina Kuhnemund of Chesapeake; his sister, Brenda Werner of Phoenix, AZ; his sister, Jennifer Sutton (Timothy) of Virginia Beach; his sister, Pamela Gregoire of St. Louis, MO; his brother, Glenn Gregoire Jr (Stephen Allan) of San Diego, CA; and his sister, Renée Hartless (Chris) of Staunton. He is also survived by “honorary sisters” Melissa Gregoire-Cruea (Chad and son Glenn) and Priscilla Gregoire of Virginia Beach.
His nieces and nephews also live on: Jessica Carpenter (Robbie and son Leighton), Devin and Alex Sutton, and Tyler Sutton (Ellen and son Caleb) of Virginia Beach; Brandon Snow of Portsmouth; Shawntel Kuhnemund of Vernon, CT; Joshua Kuhnemund of Monroe, CT; Brittany Hartless of Swoope; Chase Hartless (Leanne) of Churchville; Trenton Lavender of Norfolk; Autumn Lavender of Chesapeake; and Kailee Schwartz of Moyock, NC.
Born on October 5th, 1979, Keith was a life-long resident of Virginia Beach. According to his mother, he was a good son that always made her proud. He was the only child of her six that actually lived with his mother for all of his formative years, which made some of his siblings pretty jealous! His family has so many fond memories of Keith’s childhood. His disdain for vegetables of any kind; love of Gobots, Transformers, Star Wars, and GI Joe figures; baseball and basketball skills; breakdancing flair; active imagination while riding bikes with his brother Glenn pretending to be chased by robots; and participation in endless “fort wars” in Comanche Cluster, are just some of the memories that come to mind. When his siblings Jennifer and Renée (from his dad’s side) and Pamela and Glenn (from his mom’s side) were lucky to spend time with him during weekend visitations, there was always a battle over who would get to hold him because he was so adorable. Jennifer, the oldest of the contestants, ALWAYS won out! This explains why she was the first out of this group to become a mom. Also, Keith’s oldest sister Teresa and her husband Charlie used to babysit Keith a lot when he was little – so much so that Teresa feels like he was her first-born child. They loved taking him on road trips to West Virginia, cheering at his T-Ball games, and laughing at the way he played with his toy figurines during bath time. Regina, another sister who was lucky to live with him when she was an older teenager, recalls how much she enjoyed walking Keith to Kindergarten at Arrowhead Elementary every weekday and how they kicked pine cones all the way there.
During his teenage years, Keith continued to make many friends and was the Sports Editor for the Cox High School newspaper. He also started to develop his talent for rapping and rhyming, and it became very obvious to his friends and family that he had a natural gift for freestyling. After graduating from Cox in 1998, his love for playing basketball continued until he discovered, after several knee injuries, that he was not meant to be a “baller” after all! Not really into the college scene, Keith became an integral part of the food and beverage industry in Virginia Beach and Norfolk doing everything from working in kitchens making delicious grub (such as his killer lasagna), to serving tables when needed, to bartending, and eventually took on management positions as well. Keith was well-suited to be in the Hospitality business because of his funny, caring, and endearing personality. All who worked with him over the years have so much love and respect for him. He was the kind of guy you could count on, and he was always willing to help out in a crunch.
Throughout his adulthood, Keith was an avid Duke fan (hence his dog’s name) and LOVED March Madness. He also was a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, and requested that we make sure that he sports his Bears Vans during his viewing for all that loved him to see. He loved to travel as much as possible and took more cruises than anyone we know. As far as musical taste, he was first and foremost a HUGE Wu-Tang Clan
fan, and loved (and also laughed at) what he called the “Trust Fund Reggae” genre. Hip Hop was his jam, and as a rapper himself, he was part of Shoreline Productions, to name just one. His performances are all over social media for the masses to nod their heads to.
Sadly, in April last year Keith received horrible news after going into the ER for unbearable lower back pain. It was the diagnosis that NO ONE, especially a man in his prime, wanted to hear. “You’ve got Cancer,” he was told by the doctor while in the ER alone with no one to console him. Keith shared with us that he was initially very scared of what this meant, but by a week into it, he was back to being his funny self and even left a voicemail on his sister Pamela’s phone addressing himself as “Cancer Keith”.
He was always a great son, brother, and uncle; but he really stepped up his family game after realizing, as many do when facing a terminal illness, that life can be too short and that every day is a gift. We are so thankful for the times we got to spend with Keith during his valiant battle, and that he really LIVED his best life during the past year and a half. One of the best things that happened in this time period is that he discovered the love of his life, Kayla. Keith was pretty good with the ladies, but never realized that he had found “the one” until he reconnected again with the beautiful Kayla. As life would bittersweetly have it, sometimes the best relationships are saved for last. He sure did love Kayla with all of his heart. How could he not? She was always by his side, through good days and very bad, sick days. Even with Cancer, Kayla shared with us that Keith loved to take on the role of Provider and put her interests in front of his own. He was and always will be a big source of inspiration for her. Even Kayla’s young daughter, Hailey, was a big Keith fan.
We could go on and on about Keith’s life, and how he lived it. But we have a memorial service to get to! To wrap this up, we would like to give a message straight to Keith:
Keith, your family will ALWAYS LOVE YOU!!! You will FOREVER LIVE ON IN OUR HEARTS!!! Don’t worry about us for one minute. We know we’re a bit on the dysfunctional side, but thanks to you giving us all a BIG wake up call, WE’VE GOT THIS
Love You Always and Forever,
Our family would love for all of Keith’s friends to feel free to share memories of Keith in the comments section of this website.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in memory of Keith to his favorite charity, “Pandas Fight Against Cancer”