Cover photo for Shane Dremer Keith's Obituary
Shane Dremer Keith Profile Photo
1962 Shane 2022

Shane Dremer Keith

September 20, 1962 — March 19, 2022

Chilhowie, Va.


Shane Dremer Keith passed away suddenly, Saturday, March 19, 2022.


Shane was born Shirl Jacob Blevins, Jr. on September 20, 1962 in Prince William County, the oldest son of Shirl Jacob Blevins and Wanda Tilson (Blevins) Sanderson. Shane (“Jr.”, then) was a member of the Marion Senior High School graduating class of 1980, where he was a member of the wrestling team. Weighing in at a mere 98, and then 132 pounds, he was instrumental in his team’s successes. He was a two-time All-District and two-time All-Region wrestler. Shane graduated from Lee College in Cleveland, Tennessee with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and minors in Art and Religion. Shane was an extremely talented carpenter, learning the craft at an early age from his dad. He liked to dabble in art, learning from his Grandpa Tilson how to put crosses in bottles. He was often with a camera in his hands taking pictures of family, nieces and nephews, student events, and wildlife. He loved animals. Any stray, even raccoons, knew that they could garner a daily meal at his house. After college, the fellow with the dazzling smile and the ability to make others laugh went on the road as a stand-up comedian. Needing a stage name, he took the middle names of his brothers, thus becoming Shane Keith.  Along with comedy, Shane often worked in the construction business, where he was a master craftsman. In Atlanta, he co-produced and starred in his own TV show. He also appeared as an extra in the movies, The Baron and The Kid, and The Slugger’s Wife. He played the main character in The Foreigner for the Royal Oak Players at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. One of his favorite performances was a comedy routine for Smyth County teachers at convocation several years ago…where he brought the house down. However, none of these performances compared to the daily laughs that he brought his family during his lifetime. In 2007, Shane took his comedy act to the classroom, entertaining and inspiring students at Chilhowie High School, where he found a home as a Warrior.  He often joked about teaching being a “calling.” He said that he did receive a call to teach…that his mom called and said, “Get. A. Job.” While Shane joked about starting a career in education, a teacher he was. He loved all of his students and became a mentor for many young people. He encouraged, guided, and motivated students to be their best. It would be impossible to put a dollar amount on the financial contributions that he made to students who needed help with clothing, wrestling camps, car or tuition payments—nothing was out of the question if a kid needed his help. He also extended help to students’ families, while not speaking of his generosity nor needing recognition. He is well known for taking the time to send postcards to former students telling them, “you can do it” while they were away from home at college. His final act of service was to donate his organs. He had a huge, giving heart—it saddens us greatly that his heart gave out long before it should have. During his teaching and coaching tenure at Chilhowie High School, Shane led his wrestling teams to district championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014. In 2014, they were state runners-up. He was selected Coach of the Year all of the above years. He was also voted Teacher of the Year by his colleagues in 2016. Shane served as the track coach for one season and he loved working with those kids.  They often asked him for advice to improve, and he said, “Run faster.” Shane loved to make people laugh. When he entered a room, it was like a light—you knew fun was in the air. His visits were always too short—his jokes, his facial expressions, his dance moves always left you wanting more.  His time here was far too short and we cannot imagine life without him.


Shane is survived by so many people who now have a void that cannot be filled:  Wanda Sanderson—his mother and role-model. She grew up in an 8-person, 3-room house and always emphasized to her boys the value of an education. Shane, in her stead, helped students to realize their potential. Roy Sanderson—Step-father; Wilma Blevins—Step-mother; His brothers (friends, fellow comedians, and mischief makers): Rick Blevins and Jeff Blevins; Sisters-in-law:  Mariann Berry Blevins and April Shepherd Blevins; Aunts and Uncles (David Tilson, Lavina Gass, Darrell Tilson, John “Danny” Tilson, Marcia Tilson, Lois Tilson, and Gladys Blevins); Many cousins; Cousin and Friend: Frank Haga; Nephews and Niece (Ethan, Cameron, and Nolan Blevins; Callie Mellinger Piplico, and J. Mellinger); Great-nephews (Cason Blevins; Jackson Piplico); “Adopted” Great-nieces (Jocelyn and Raelyn Ramos), his adopted daughters: Maria Ramos Young, and Andreia Langley, as well as many friends, and students.


Shane is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents: Fred and Virginia Blevins; Maternal grandparents: John and Maxie Tilson; his nephew: Richard Zane Blevins, and his “Pops”, Shirl Jacob Blevins. We know that Dad is now happily with “Junebug” again.


The family will receive friends Friday, March 25, 2022 from 5 until 7 p.m. at Seaver-Brown Chapel, Marion, Va. A service will follow in the chapel with Pastor Wes Eller officiating.  Kyle Rhodes, Mike Sturgill, and Rocky Baker will honor Shane with tributes. Out of concern for elderly relatives, the family requests that masks be worn during the services.


Honorary Pallbearers are Bear Lloyd and Keith Holley, and the CHS Wrestling teams (past and present).


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chilhowie High School Wrestling Program (CHS 1160 E Lee Hwy, Chilhowie, VA 24319, and a donation box will be at the service), or the charity of your choice.  Please don’t forget to laugh—it was the most important thing to Shane.  


To share memories of Shane Dremer Keith, please visit Care for Shane’s family has been entrusted to Seaver-Brown Funeral Service & Crematory, 237 East Main Street, Marion, Va. 24354.

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

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Friday, March 25, 2022

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