On Monday January 14, 2019, Keith St. Clair Jaffee passed away peacefully with his wife and son by his side. He was born on December 7, 1965, in Greenwich, Connecticut and spent his childhood in Bedford, New York and Freeville, New York before moving to Dorset, Vermont on Superbowl Sunday, 1993. His love of architecture began when his family moved into Sutton Corners when he was 8. From the details of the parquet floor to the landscaping of the property, he remembered everything. As an adult this interest broadened to mid century modern architecture. He loved looking for houses around Connecticut and New York that were designed by the Harvard 5. He also enjoyed visiting iconic Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York. Woodworking was another passion of Keith’s when he lived in Dorset, Vermont. Totally self taught, he designed and built Montessori materials and furniture for the toddler Montessori communities throughout the U.S. and Canada in his woodshop in Manchester, Vermont. His eye for detail and desire to make the best Montessori materials can be seen in the glass bead cabinet and materials that have been used by children throughout the world for the past 25 years. When Montessori Handmade closed its doors, he brought his interest in beads to the jewelry community with Great Northern Bead and Gem in Simsbury, Connecticut. For the past 12 years he sold beads, as well as sequins and other jewelry embellishments to designers around the world, from the serious jewelry maker to the occasional crafter. His website had something for everyone.
When Keith was not working, which wasn’t very often, he enjoyed going to Keifer’s baseball and ice hockey games. These games were the highlight of his life each week and no matter how much the effects of Lyme Disease were bothering him, he never missed a game. An avid concert goer, the Grateful Dead held a special place, but he could still be seen at Hot Tuna, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Zac Brown Band and just a month ago, Bob Dylan. Before his Lyme Disease got to be too much, he loved to hike and cross country ski.
While Lyme Disease robbed Keith of much of his life the past 12 years, he hoped to the very end that the medical community would recognize the struggles that the debilitating side effects have on those who suffer from Chronic Lyme Disease. Keith leaves his wife, Robin and son, Keifer of Simsbury, Connecticut; his mother, Cynthia of Bedford, NY; father, Bill of Vero Beach, FL; brother, Bill and wife, Cathy and nieces, Maia and Ella of Lunenburg, MA; his sister, Jennifer of Bedford, NY; and his cat, Bender. While living in Vermont, Keith was active with Second Chance Animal Shelter where he fostered cats, kittens and dogs. His last foster dog, Duffy held a very special place in his heart. Donations can be made in Keith’s remembrance to Second Chance Animal Shelter, Arlington, Vermont through their website 2ndchanceanimalcenter.org and to the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center 1051 Riverside Drive Unit 69, New York, NY 10032. A celebration of his life will be held in August at the Pound Ridge Reservation in Pound Ridge, New York.