Robert B. Keigler
UMBC student, who attended Gilman School and Dulaney High, remembered as a ‘welcoming person’
Robert Bradford Keigler, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County student who studied financial economics and enjoyed playing lacrosse, died Monday at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center from a respiratory condition.
The Timonium resident had recently celebrated his 24th birthday.
His mother, Barbara Schermerhorn Keigler, said that she found her son sleeping and breathing irregularly, and that his death was apparently caused by undiagnosed sleep apnea.
Born in Towson and raised in Timonium, he was the son of Thomas N. Keigler, a banker and former McDonogh School lacrosse coach who died in October 2017. His mother is a retired Howard County teacher.
Known to many as “Bo,” he had attended Gilman School for six years and played varsity lacrosse. He also played trumpet in the school’s band and belonged to a student bell choir. He was a 2013 graduate of Dulaney High School.
“This is a terribly sad loss,” said Henry P. A. Smyth, headmaster at the Gilman School.
“It was a pleasure to work with him and get to know Bo during our time together at Gilman,” Mr. Smyth said. “Bo was a young man with a wonderful spark in his eye and a deep love of learning. His heart and soul were good, and he will be dearly missed.”
After high school he spent a year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, then returned to his Timonium home and obtained an associate’s degree at Baltimore County Community College. He then became a financial economics student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
“Bo was truly a wonderful student to have in my class,” said Audra Hennigan. a UMBC faculty member. “He sat in the front row, contributed such a positive energy to the daily lecturing and was so welcoming to me as a newcomer to the university.”
“He was the most selfless person I have ever met,” said his brother, William Thomas Keigler of New York City. “What he did in life, he did with a smile. One-on-one, he was very engaging. He always had a positive attitude. He was always optimistic, almost to a fault.”
Family members said he was a history buff. He toured battle sites and read widely about world wars.
Mr. Keigler also enjoyed playing tennis and paddle tennis, and competed at the L’Hirondelle Club in Ruxton.
“Bo was happy-go-lucky and a welcoming person. He idolized his older brothers and attended all their lacrosse games while they were in college. He memorized the names of the team players and their parents who also came to the games,” said his mother.
“He enjoyed travel and had recently taken a tour of French Polynesia, where he hiked and snorkeled,” she added. Mr. Keigler attended the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and was a member of two groups at Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium: a Bible study class and The Ironmen, a group for men.
Dr. Ken Volk, of Lutherville Animal Hospital, recalled the enthusiasm and compassion that Mr. Keigler displayed while working there as part of a service project.
“Bo was a big kid as a teenager and he was a compassionate individual,” said Dr. Volk. “He loved animals. Some people, when they come to work here, either get it or they don’t. Bo did from the start. Some kids are hands-off with the animals. Bo was different. He would get down and help clean a dog with a sore ear. He hit it off with the staff, too.”
Dr. Volk also recalled that “Bo was a huge sports fan and I’d see him on the basketball court. His death is a tragedy.”
In addition to his mother and brother, survivors include another brother, Thomas Edward Keigler of Baltimore; and his grandfather, William Sorrell Keigler of Naples, Fla.
Services are private. Robert B. Keigler was a history buff who visited battle sites and read about world wars.