CHARLOTTE, NC -- Thomas Laird "Tom" Keil, who dedicated his adult life to the amusement industry, died on April 18 following a battle with cancer. He was 63.
Keil was a regional sales manager for Sega Amusements, where had served in various executive posts since 2002.
"It is a sad time for us all with the passing of my friend and work colleague, Tom Keil," said Sega president Paul Williams. "He was a man admired by many for his integrity, passion for life and sense of goodness. Everyone [who] knew him or met him was touched by the generosity of his nature and personality."
Keil was born in St. Louis, MO, in 1950 on Christmas Day. He moved with his family to North Carolina where he attended high school. After graduating in 1969, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany from 1970 to 1972. He attended the University of North Carolina, earning a degree in accounting.
Keil started his coin-op career in 1974 at Brady Distributing Co. (Charlotte), working his way up to assistant sales manager. He later went to work for Atari Games, where he spent almost a decade before joining Sega.
"Tom put up a valiant and courageous fight against cancer for more than three years," said Sega's Peter Gustafson. "Throughout his ordeal, he never allowed his condition stop or slow him down. His unwillingness to let his disease define him was an inspirational example of how to live fully regardless of the circumstances life hands you."
He is survived by his wife Janice; his twin brother Jerry and his wife Betsy; sisters Pat Moon, Donna Faine and Linda Smith; and many nieces and nephews.
Donations in Tom Keil's honor can be made to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at
Duke University Medical Center (DUMC 3624, Durham, NC 27710) or The Caring House (2625 Pickett Rd.,
Durham, NC 27705).