Gary and Deanne have been an integral part of Pleasant Grove for the past 46 years, but their community roots go back generations. Gary’s great, great grandfather was an early settler and the first mayor of Pleasant Grove. His great grandfather also served 2 terms as mayor and three terms as a city council member. Deanne’s extended family also lived in Pleasant Grove and she spent much of her young life here.
Gary & Deanne were both born to farmers and learned to work hard at an early age. They fell in love after Gary sang a solo in an 8th grade assembly and Deanne took notice. They were high school sweethearts, prom king & queen, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1956.
Gary worked on the family farm, pumped gas at a local service station, worked for the US Forest Service, and taught high school Geography. In 1972 he accepted a position as assistant principal of Pleasant Grove High School. He loved working with John Gourley and interacting with the young men & women at PGHS, many of whom are leaders in the community today. He eventually left PGHS to become principal at American Fork Junior High before becoming the Assistant Superintendent of Alpine School District. While there, he was an interim superintendent, instituted the 8-period A/B schedule, and built many schools–the last of which was Lone Peak High School.
Deanne worked on her family farm and then became a bookkeeper at Dixon Taylor Russell Department Store in Provo—a job that would teach her many of the business skills necessary to open her own business. For most of her young married life she was a full-time mom taking care of her children; Von, Kathy, Greg, and Melissa. Once all of her children were in school, Gary & Deanne talked about a career for her, just in case anything ever happened to him. With a great desire to teach her children to work, she settled on becoming a restaurateur and Taco Amigo was born with Deanne at the helm.
Gary & Deanne have blessed this community at least as much as it has blessed them! For over a decade they have donated their time and means to carry out the local March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon. Together they have given 800+ teenagers their first work experience at Taco Amigo. They’ve served in countless church & civic positions, conducted door-to-door drives for charities, and quietly donated to those in need.
Gary & Deanne have always loved Strawberry Days! Beginning in their young teenage years, they would go on dates to the rodeo and carnival, with each year seeming more enjoyable than the last. They’ve taught their children to love and celebrate this community—and to volunteer.
To Gary and Deanne Keetch, Strawberry Days is a symbol of all that is good about this city.