Chris and Patty called me tonight because they had written this powerful loving “eulogy” for their late friend Jim Keating. This letter, as others, reflects the kind of man Jim was. Chris couldnt get it on Karnac so he asked me to do it for him. Thank you for taking the time to share their love for our dear friend Gentleman Jim…
"When I first met Jim Keating I was just a racer looking for sponsorship and had no idea I would end up with a true friend. Jim was not your typical white collar executive. Glenn Morris and I were the first to benefit from the Clear Channel Communications sponsorship, that later included Richie Anderson. Early in the relationship, Jim expressed an interest in racing, and Glenn let him take a few laps in his car. The rest is history. The addiction to adrenaline and competition knows no social or economic boundaries and like the rest of us, Jim was hooked. Jim stared out droving Glenn?s second car, then got his own car, and was on his way to becoming a true racer. Unlike many of the Saturday night racers who had been racing since we were old enough to finagle our way onto a track, Jim didn?t start racing until he was in his mid fifties.
Jim?s life experiences and enthusiasm gave him an advantage in racing. As opposed to many of us who started as hot headed teenagers, Jim knew the benefits of patience, how to watch and learn and how to take constructive advice and apply it to his racing. Not only was Jim enthusiastic about his own racing, he was enthusiastic for his friends and that energy and genuine support was contagious. The elation we all felt when Jim got his first win, still lingers and makes me smile even at this sad time. You would have thought he won the Daytona 500 and we all felt that way for him.
I was looking for a sponsor when I met Jim, and ended up with a true friend. Our friendship outlasted our racing careers. After retiring Jim and Barbara traveled and were able to spend more time in Colorado with their children and grandchildren. We all stayed in touch and would get together for dinner. Since the news of Jim?s diagnosis we have all been pulling for him. On one of our last visits we talked about our mutual racing friends and he wanted to visit the track to watch Richie race. The day of the race he was not well enough to go, but Jim spoke to Richie on the phone to be sure he knew that Jim was pulling for him. His enthusiasm for racing, for life, for his friends and most importantly his family never faltered. Now it is our turn to pull for Barbara.
We are better for having had the benefit of his friendship. May we never forget the enthusiasm he had and shared with us. He was a true friend and a true racer. I will remember him always."