In 1957, Keith was born to Virginia and Kenneth Wiman in New London, Connecticut. He was the third child of five children. Because his father Kenneth served in the Coast Guard, Keith’s childhood was spent in multiple places including Alaska, Texas, and Maryland. From a young age, Keith showed an interest in and aptitude for mechanics. As a child he once took apart a toy truck and assembled it into a different toy completely, having reconfigured its belt to power a rainbow display. He was gifted with a combination of ingenuity and patience that allowed him to undertake and complete complex mechanical projects.
After graduating from high school, Keith studied auto mechanics and worked in a diesel engine shop where he learned to repair tractor-trailers. He obtained his CDL and began his trucking career doing long-distance work, after which he established his own business, KW Trucking. Keith enjoyed being his own boss and valued his independence greatly throughout his lifetime and until his death.
Keith worked as a truck driver for over 40 years, from his early 20s until he was diagnosed with cancer when he was 64. Though he was involved in collisions and near-fatal situations multiple times during his work, in all his years of driving he did not once cause an accident. He was known by others to be a consistently positive, hardworking, and dependable person. He possessed a calm and steady countenance that carried him through hazardous situations on the road without injury. His steady attention and ability to stay calm during emergencies kept himself and others safe for decades on the road. At Farruggio’s, the company that dispatched Keith his loads, he received a 30-year safe driving award as well as awards for 250,000 miles, 500,000 miles, 750,000 miles, and 1,000,000 miles of safe driving. He was also recognized as Terminal Driver of the Year. Keith was deeply dedicated to his work, regularly leaving home before 3 am and returning after 6 pm. While his work undoubtedly took a toll on him, he was adamant that he was meant to be a truck driver. This was the work that he loved. Keith took pride in the essential nature of his job. Whether or not others understood the importance of the trucking industry, Keith knew the fact that without his work society would cease to function. He once told his daughter Kimberly, “Look around you. Every object you see was at some point transported by a truck.”
As a skilled mechanic, Keith worked on and drove many vehicles throughout his life. He owned and maintained quite a few tractor-trailers over the years for his trucking business. When he wasn’t fixing his work truck, Keith was working on used cars. He enjoyed sourcing used parts from the junkyard and looking for used cars on eBay. His favorite make was Mustang and he once removed the engine from his early 90s Mustang GT to later replace it with a larger V8 engine. As a teenager, he raced friends in laps around the neighborhood, once taking a turn too fast and getting in trouble for denting the wheel of his father’s Volkswagen. As an adult, Keith enjoyed racing his cars at the drag strip.
Keith saw all 48 continental states as a truck driver. He appreciated the solitude of driving, and traveled through a wide array of landscapes, from steep mountainous roads to endless open plains. After driving through the country as a long-haul trucker, he eventually settled in Fort Washington, Maryland close to where his parents lived. In 1985, at 28 years of age, he bought his own house in cash with his earnings from the trucking business. He later shared this home with his wife Nilda.
In 1990, Keith married Nilda Cuadros Sandoval, a friend of a friend he met on a camping trip. They had two children: Kimberly, who was born when Keith was 34, and Alex, who was born when he was 49. Keith wasn’t very vocal about his love – he showed it more through actions than words. He was gentle, caring, and an excellent listener who put others at ease. He was patient and kind, never yelling and very rarely showing any anger towards his family. He instilled in his children the value of simple things in life rather than material pursuits. He demonstrated a work ethic and dedication to his family beyond what can be described in words. Keith supported Nilda financially when they were first married, which allowed her to gain English fluency, obtain her college education, and become a Registered Nurse. At one point of financial struggle, Keith sold his motorcycle to pay for Nilda’s college tuition. While Keith didn’t speak Spanish, he did visit Nilda’s home country of Peru in 2014 where he met his Peruvian family and enjoyed visiting Machu Picchu and other Incan ruins. Keith and Nilda were happily married for 32 years.
Keith was a quiet person who found beauty and peace in the natural world. He cared deeply for his land in Fort Washington, making regular trips to maintain it after he moved to Waldorf, Maryland in 2005. Keith and Nilda spent many days together fishing and crabbing in the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Keith bought and fixed up a small fishing boat for his family in which they spent beautiful summer days together. He enjoyed going on beach vacations with his family where he swam in the ocean and bodysurfed the waves. Keith loved animals and was easily trusted by them because of his calm demeanor. He kept dogs throughout his life and instilled in his children a love for animals.
In mid-2021, Keith began to have symptoms of follicular lymphoma and underwent treatment for this cancer and other medical issues until his death in October 2022. He valued his privacy and independence until the end of his life. He was cared for lovingly by his wife Nilda, who dedicated most of her waking hours to his care after he fell ill. Keith underwent chemotherapy that improved his condition greatly for several months in the summer of 2022. During these months he spent quality time with his family including trips to his house in Fort Washington and days fishing with Nilda at the Chesapeake Bay. In July 2022, Keith contracted COVID-19, which led to pulmonary issues and multiple hospital stays in the fall of 2022. In early October, he was able to return home from the hospital with Nilda’s nursing care. He spent the last weeks of his life at home where he was cared for by Nilda, Kimberly, and Alex. On Friday, October 21, 2022, Keith passed away at the age of 65 in his home in Waldorf, Maryland.
Keith is survived by his wife Nilda Wiman, his children Kimberly Wiman and Alexander Wiman, his mother Virginia Wiman, and his siblings Steve Wiman (Stephanie), Carl Wiman (Linda), Gail Teibel (Mitch), and Susan Essid (Chris). He was preceded in death by his father RADM Kenneth Wiman and his aunt Anita Bowling.
On Wednesday, October 26th from 3:00-5:00 pm a viewing for family and friends will be held at Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home at 7 Industrial Park Drive, Waldorf, Maryland.
Keith’s ashes will be spread in the forest on his land in Fort Washington, Maryland.