Richard Francis Cleminson-Keep

Richard Francis Cleminson-Keep

December 21, 1949 - March 13, 2023

Richard Francis Cleminson-Keep

December 21, 1949 - March 13, 2023


Richard (Rick) was born one minute before midnight on Winter Solstice December 21st, 1949, in Edgerton, WI to William and Eloise Beryl Cleminson. He was the youngest of three boys, Ron and Rob.

Rick earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin and went on to pursue the arts professionally throughout the entirety of his life. From 1974-1991, Rick was a graphic, studio, and art history teacher and later Humanities Department Chair at Northwestern Military & Naval Academy in Lake Geneva, WI. Every Christmas he helped his students build giant papier-mâche toys for the Lake Geneva Christmas parade. He and his family relocated to Colorado in 1992 where he became an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books. His book “Treat or Treat, It’s Halloween!”, published by Random House, became a New York Times Bestseller.

After, he, his wife Linda, and his beloved furry friend Max cat moved to San Miguel de Allende in colonial Mexico. Rick created numerous Mexican-themed books including his favorite “Clatter Bash!”. From publications in the Miami Herald to school author visits around the country, Rick touched the hearts of many young readers and soon-to-be artists.

He met Linda Lowery and her son, Kris Truelsen, in Lake Geneva and they became a family when Linda and Rick married in 1988, eventually settling in Johnson City, Tennessee. Richard passed away on March 13, 2023, in Nashville, TN from heart failure due to multiple myeloma and amyloidosis.

His humor, compassion, and love will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to know him.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions in honor of Richard to the International Myeloma Foundation at

The care of Mr. Richard Cleminson-Keep and his family has been entrusted to the staff of Cremation Society of Tennessee. To share words of comfort and condolences, please visit

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