Keith Allen Stanisiewski, age 47, of Los Angeles, CA and formerly of Florence, Ma. died on Thursday April 23, 2020 unexpectedly after a brief illiness at his residence in California.Despite his hearing impairment and neurosensory difficulties affecting his balance and ability to walk steadily and perform certain tasks, Keith Stanisiewski never let these limitations hold him back. Keith learned to drive with hand controls, and when he was in his car, he had no disability.
Born in Northampton, MA, in 1973, Keith attended Clarke School for the Deaf, and learned to lip read. In 1987 he went to Northampton High School, where he enjoyed being with hearing students, and graduated in 1991. He then went on to Westfield State College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business in 1995.
His passion for acting, starting in his childhood, watching The Brady Bunch and other favorites, never left him. Eventually his love of movies and TV shows led him to follow his cousin Sherry to Los Angeles in 2005. Keith drove himself across the country in 4 days. He landed acting jobs in films and on NCIS-Los Angeles. His enthusiasm for Hollywood never waned as he welcomed cousins and showed them the sites.
Keith's talent for weaving in and out of L.A. traffic served him well when he worked for Uber and Lyft to fill the gaps between acting jobs. During the pandemic, he drove healthcare workers to hospitals.
The West Hollywood gay community, many of whom were actors and singers, loved Keith and gave him emotional support. His favorite hangouts were Starbucks on Larchmont Street and the bar Rage, where men and women would act out old musicals. His ability to listen, his sense of humor, and love for bantering, brought joy to his friends.
In 2018 Keith was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bones that compromises the immune system. A Go-Fund-Me account helped Keith afford to continue to live in L.A. He responded well to treatment and carried on for a time in his usual manner. But in the last four months his immune system became more fragile, and he fought three bouts of pneumonia.Keith never complained about his physical ailments or limitations and sometimes was independent to a fault. His tenacity and stubbornness helped him survive and live the life he wanted to live. Keith's open-heartedness and courage were an inspiration to all who knew him, and he will be deeply missed.
Keith is survived by his mother, Darlene A. Graham, and her lifelong partner, Tim Walter, of Plainfield, MA; his older brother Joseph of Portland, OR; his uncle, Don Graham and aunt Nancy of Westhampton; his uncle, Bob Graham and aunt Peg of Easthampton; his aunt, Sandra Greenwood and uncle Ed of Goshen; his stepmother, Rita Stanisiewski of Florence; his aunt, Roberta Boulanger of Hadley, and 12 cousins. His father, Joseph Stanisiewski, predeceased him, on July 3, 2018.
A live memorial will be held to honor the life and spirit of Keith after the pandemic restrictions are lifted. There may be a cyber service before that. Contributions in Keith's memory may be given to actorsfund.org or The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (www.myeloma.org or 818-487-7455). Because of his concern for the environment, people may donate a tree in his memory at RWGrahamfuneralhome.com, where there is also a tribute wall.
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