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My Story

**FYI - Tributes/donations made on this website go to help keep the free website up and running. Per the family's wishes, the Bill Keene Memorial Scholarship has been established. If you are interested in donating, please visit https://secure2.osac.state.or.us/CCOrders/Donations.aspx.

On Sunday, December 1, 2013, our friend and colleague Bill Keene succumbed to complications from gallstone pancreatitis, just a few days before his 57th birthday.

Bill grew up in Seattle, and graduated from Yale University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. After returning from two years studying rhesus monkeys in India and Pakistan, he worked as a lab technician at the University of California at San Francisco, and then continued his education by receiving both a master’s in public health and a doctorate in microbiology in 1989 from UC Berkley. One year later, Bill began working as an epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division and had been there ever since. 

Intelligent and hard-working, Bill was highly respected internationally, nationally, and here in our community as an expert in foodborne disease outbreak investigations. He was known for his extraordinary intelligence, dry wit, and uncompromising candor. He was a tremendous friend, opening his door to all, brewing a pot of tea for visitors, and inviting friends to his home for a movie. We are so fortunate to have known Bill; he will be sorely missed.



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Sarah S. Silkie, PhD signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Bill in person, but I have been an avid reader of the CD Summary for the last year, and wondering who the editor was and ... Read more

Gary Oxman signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

So much has been written about Bill, so I feel I have little to add.  While Bill and I didn't always agree on specific issues and approaches to public health problems, I ... Read more

Cory Aden-Wansbury, M.D., F.A.C.S signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

No matter what the subject, I read every single one of the CD Summaries, just for the joy of it!  I always began to smile, somewhere through the copy, and wondered what ... Read more

Hillary Booth signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

I was living in Arizona when I accepted a position with the state of Oregon just about seven years ago, hired sight unseen after a phone interview. Bill Keene was the ... Read more

Rob Tauxe, at CDC signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

Bill was one of the best in the business.  He will be greatly missed.  The Dec 14 memorial service was deeply moving and wonderful way to remember him.  I am holding ... Read more

Paul Lewis signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

My history with BillI first spoke to Bill at an obscure, now closed, outdoor fabric store in Beaverton shortly after I moved to Portland in the mid 90's. I needed fleece ... Read more

Kevin Winthrop signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

Bill had the best nose in the business. Without doubt.  He could smell a contaminated product from miles away, and often had purchased it and put it in his museum long ... Read more

Barna Tugwell signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

I was the EIS officer in Oregon from 2001-2003. I was incredibly fortunate to have Bill just a few steps away, always willing to offer advice or a joke. He was brilliant ... Read more

John Besser and Kristi Larsen signed Bill's Family and Friends's Guestbook.

Our hearts are heavy.  We will be thinking of everyone as they gather for Bill's memorial today.  We are grateful that we will be able to watch it here in Atlanta.  ... Read more

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