A special memorial event celebrating the life of Keith Carter will be held on Saturday evening, Jan.13, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Long Branch Saloon in downtown Gonzales.
Carter, who was the owner of the Long Branch Saloon along with his wife Karen Jacobs, passed away unexpectedly on Monday afternoon, Jan. 8 after he suffered a pulmonary embolism. He was 56.
“We are going to have a wake—a true celebration of his life,” Karen Jacobs said. “We would like anyone who knew Keith, or met him, to come by the Long Branch starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday the 13th and we will be open all of Saturday night so please stop by. Whether you were his friend, an acquaintance, a business associate—stop in and celebrate with us.”
Carter and his wife Karen took over the Long Branch Saloon in November of 2016, then spent almost six months renovating the saloon. They opened it on April 15, 2017, and it was a game-changer for Carter.
“It changed him,” his wife Karen said. “This place changed him for the better. For most of the 22 years we were married, he was a corporate businessman.
“But here, he got to be himself. This place set him free, and he absolutely loved being here.”
While Keith was born in the Inland-Empire area of California, both Keith and Karen thought of themselves as Texans.
“Both our parents were from Texas—they were from the Panhandle,” Jacobs said. “They moved to California during the Dust Bowl. But when we moved back, we always felt like we were bringing both families back home. Keith was so happy about that, and he finally let go and became himself.
“When he felt like singing—he would. If something made him sad—he’d cry. But he really loved Gonzales and was its biggest cheerleader. He said he would never leave Gonzales. He was a true ambassador for this town.”
During his adult life, Keith worked in the agricultural community, and was recently the National Rep for Hidden Vila, the parent company of Nash-Fresh. He and Karen lived in Michigan prior to coming back to Texas, and he leaves three adults sons there, Josh (29), Dustin (25) and Zack (23). He is also survived by his two brothers George (Arizona) and Tom (California) and his ex-wife Cindy Carter-Jones.