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Kenneth Keyser

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 08:41

June 17, 1956 - Nov. 17, 2023

As a landscape artist and the owner of a landscaping business called Cottage Gardens for 25 years, Kenneth Keyser of East Hampton had an "incredible green thumb," his family wrote. "His love of the natural world prompted frequent trips to New England where he especially savored the waterfalls, fall foliage, and early snowfall."

In his later years, Kenny Keyser explored the jungles of Costa Rica, where he met and shared a part-time homestead with his husband of eight years, Adrian Umana.

Mr. Keyser died unexpectedly of a heart attack at home in East Hampton on Nov. 17. He was 67.

He was born in Brooklyn on June 17, 1956, to Francis Keyser and the former Genevieve Meyer. The third eldest of nine children, he was a lively person even from infancy and grew up on a large, wooded, suburban property in Bay Shore that gave him "an immediate appreciation and reverence for nature," his family wrote.

He earned a degree in horticulture from Farmingdale State College. "Whether the spaces were moon gardens, cherished property in the tropics, or numerous landscape projects on Long Island, he balanced travel with horticulture and created sanctuary wherever he went," his family said.

Mr. Keyser "had a generous heart and infectious laugh, which touched and enriched the lives of those around him." He was "a good listener and ready confidant" who "encouraged others to share on deeper levels" and valued meaningful experiences over possessions, his family said. "Kenny blessed us with warmth, compassion, laughter, genuine artistry, and respect for the gifts of the natural world. Friends and family can best honor and extend his legacy by cultivating these admirable qualities in their own lives."

In addition to his husband, Mr. Umana, Mr. Keyser leaves seven siblings. They are Keith Keyser of San Juan Island, Wash., Karen Perkins of Steamboat Springs, Colo., Kevin Keyser of Mattituck, Kathleen Berthel of Conway, S.C., Margaret Keyser of Patchogue, and Gregory Keyser and Eileen McKee, both of East Hampton. A brother, Kerry Keyser, died before him.

A celebration of his life will take place today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton. There will be a graveside service tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery on Cedar Street, followed by a luncheon at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack. Those attending the graveside ceremony are encouraged to take a Christmas ornament to decorate a tree there in his memory. His family has suggested memorial donations to the National Audubon Society, online at Audubon.org.

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