Obituary for Keith R. Molter

Keith R. Molter, a cherished and dedicated husband, brother, uncle, friend and mentor, passed away May 23 at IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana, following a six-month illness.

He was born in Rochester, Indiana, to Richard J. and Natalie C. Molter on August 19, 1954. After graduating from Lafayette Jefferson High School, Keith earned undergraduate degrees in history and political science and a master’s degree in restaurant, hotel and institutional management from Purdue University.

For more than 26 years, he shared his life with his wife, Bobbe. They married on July 6, 2006, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette. Along with his wife, Keith is survived by brothers Jeffrey (Julie Kantor) Molter of New York, James (Betty) Molter of Trabuco Canyon, California, and Kent (Tina) Molter of Loganville, Georgia; nephews Alex (Ryan) Molter of Seattle, Anderson Molter of Memphis, Tennessee, and Jacob Campbell of Dayton, Indiana; nieces Mackenzie Molter of Athens, Georgia, and Deborah (Alex) and Maya Pinedo of Lake Forest, California. He is also survived by many very close, longtime friends. Keith was preceded in death by his parents.

For many years, Keith was the foodservice director and graduate instructor in the Purdue University White Lodging-J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, where he handled the daily operation of the HTM Café and John Purdue Room restaurant, both of which were teaching laboratories for sophomore-level hospitality and tourism management students. It was here where Keith started the successful and highly popular sophomore-level International Lunch series — an endeavor usually designed for a senior-level class. In 2017, Keith retired from the hospitality and tourism industry, having served 17 years as a foodservice consultant and director for Boilermaker Hospitality, the official foodservice management vendor for Purdue Athletics. He continued as a lecturer in the College of Health and Human Sciences, teaching courses in customer relations management and operations management in hospitality and tourism as well as the selling and sales management internship.

Supporting local businesses and giving back to the community “where you live and work” was of utmost importance to Keith. He wove this philosophy into his classroom assignments, sending hundreds of students each semester into the community to volunteer at the YWCA, Food Finders Food Bank, St. Mary’s Healthcare, Purdue’s Oral English Proficiency Program, and the Lyn Treece Boys & Girls Club. Recent semester projects in his hospitality operations course raised $10,000 for the Tyler Trent Foundation and more than $2,000 for the Lafayette Women’s Shelter. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when residents of St. Mary’s Healthcare were not able to receive visitors or in-house volunteers, Keith’s class started a letter-writing and pen-pal campaign, sending hundreds of cards, letters and artwork to residents instead. In keeping with this spirit of service, Keith would encourage you to make donations to any local charity of your choice.

A celebration of life reception will be held from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Spurgeon Club, located in Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. The entrance is located off Northwestern Avenue.