Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Remembering Keith

A makeshift memorial marks the spot where longtime Ojai transient Victor Keith Stolz was found dead Aug. 16 outside the Ojai Library. Tuesday, the Ventura County Medical Examiner issued a statement saying that Stolz’s death was accidental.


Anonymous said...

I am not satisfied with accidental as cause of death until there are more details. A number of witnesses called it a beating-
and the second one that got
censored by local police, with
witnesses not stepping forward
out of fear of retaliation.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that this is what is happening here, but transients usually don't receive due investigation and follow up when crimes are perpetrated on them. Particularly in a situation where one 'simply' dies. Many don't want to be bothered by treating a transient case with the measure afforded non-transient victims.

I was glad to see someone had left flowers to recognize this person's passing.

Anonymous said...

This is the first I heard about this is this the quy who people called dog man? Who beat him up a bunch of gang members? This town needs to get a handle on the gangs or this will no longer be a nice place to live. It already is starting to look like mexico.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely tragic that a community fixture like Keith Stolz died - possibly violently - right in front of the library. I am glad for the flowers, they bring a measure of respect.

I am appalled that anyone would blame our hardworking Latino community, aka "gang members." Anonymous, with comments like yours, its not Mexico we are starting to look like - try South Africa, circa 1980, or Mississippi circa 1930. Or closer to home, Sleepy Lagoon, circa 1940.

Perhaps you should go visit Mexico, it is a country of dignity, beauty and culture. You might learn something.

RIP Keith Stolz.

Lanny Kaufer said...

I, too, am appalled at the gang comment above but that's not why I'm writing. Keith worked for me and our staff on THE CREW in the 90's when we had a government contract to do flood repair work in the backcountry. He has also helped with maintenance work for the Bowlful of Blues and other concerts over the years. He may have had problems that consigned him to a life on the street but I knew him as a good-hearted guy who showed up to work when he said he would. If someone is preying on the homeless, it certainly warrants further investigation.

Anonymous said...

I also knew Keith that way. The
problem is not preying on the
homeless, it is amoung the homeless,since they are their own sub-culture. Not enough recourse
or prevention by community by way
of a detox facility where at least
they are given a glimmer of hope
of not continuing to die on streets,and, victimizing each
other as some suspect here...

Anonymous said...

Keith has ALWAYS been kind...We are not the ones to judge how he lived it. Nor, does it give ANYONE the right to take it away from him. Sorry, there is more to this than meets the eye; and if we, as a society allow the person or persons to get away with MURDER. Than we are just as guilty as those who committed this HORRIBLE and HEARTLESS crime. This was so wrong; I still can't believe it. GOD is watching. I will miss you Keith and your smile and unselfish heart. You fly with the Angels now...

Kathrina Smith said...

Keith Stolz is my uncle and a very loved part of our family.He was a gentle kind soul and a very talented carpenter. He loved to work with his hands and to be out doors. We grew up together in the Ojai Valley and he always thought of it as home.He will be greatly missed by those who knew a nd loved him.I, and his family would like to say thank you to the community for your kind words and well wishes at such a difficult time. Sweat Dreams Uncle Keith. You are always in our hearts.Soar with the angels and my God Bless You and keep you.

Anonymous said...

I saw this gentleman's body as the police were investigating the scene and it did not appear in such a way as one would fall if he simple passed from natural causes. He was someone's son, brother, uncle and his passing deserves more investigation than it seems is being paid to the situation. I'd be willing to bet if he was the son of the mayor or some other mucky-muck, the investigation would have gone further.

laura stinchfield said...

I am writing this in remembrance of my friend Keith Stolz. I met him about six years ago. I would walk the bike path with my two dogs in the early morning. We would meet him half way through. Sometimes Keith would walk with us and other times we would just stop to say hi. I have many stories in my memory about how kind and compassionate Keith was. I would like to share two of them. A while back I was going through some traumatic dark times. Keith saw me one day crying. He shared some sweet words and I went on my way. The next morning, there was a little white rock in the palm of my St. Francis statue. I cannot put in to words how much light that little stone brought into my life. I collected heart shaped rocks and I could not think of a soul who would have put it there. My life was full of darkness and every time I saw it I smiled. I swore an angel had placed there. Weeks went by and Keith stopped by for a visit. It was then he shared that he had carved the heart out of an alabaster stone and placed it there on his way to church. St. Francis has held that rock for the last two and half years.
It was rare that Keith would ask me for anything. One evening, he showed up at my house with tears in his eyes. He said that a car had hit Jeff, his best friend and he didn’t know if he was alive. I told him to get in the car and we would go find which hospital he was at. When we found Jeff, Keith embraced him with such love that I was in awe. It was so endearing. I had to ask myself, “Do I have a friend that would hurt so badly at the sight of me injured?”
When I first heard of Keith death, I was not surprised. I was grateful that his spirit left his body at the library and not someplace else. Keith had been in and out of the hospital for heart and liver problems for many months. For the last two months, every time I saw him I was worried it was going to be the last. One of the last times I saw him, he told me he was dying. I hugged him and told him I loved him and was worried about him. He replied, “Oh honey, don’t worry about me. I can’t wait to go fishing with Jesus”.

Keith Stolz was my friend and an angel on earth. I miss him greatly. Sending love and blessings to his family and friends.

Anonymous said...

I met Keith many years ago, back in the80's.he was,and allways be one of,if not the closest and dearest freinds I have ever known. I ran into Keith almost a week to the day of his passing, I was in ojai on vacation visiting family and drove to the park early one morning, to my supprise I met Keith after about 15 years, he still had that wonderfull sparkle he allways had in his eyes,he leapt up and gave me a hug like i havent felt in years. freinds come and go through our lives, some some you remember,some you forget,others are part of you.
I will miss you,god bless you Keith.