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Chateau Drug’s Keith Anderson a Man of Perpetual Motion
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Keith Anderson is a regular at The Senior Connection. COURTESY: Dark to Light Productions
   
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
 

BY LESLEY ANDRUS

Editor’s note: Chateau Drug has been serving the Sun Valley area since 1969, offering more than 100,000 products from makeup to BBQs.

Jamie Lee Curtis once commended it for having everything anybody could possibly want. She’s not stretching the truth too far, as Chateau Drug’s motto is: “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”

Now, meet the man behind Chateau Drug.

 A native Idahoan, Keith was born and raised in Preston, Idaho, a farm community in the southeast corner of the state.  Sugar beets were the main agricultural product and Keith’s father worked for the factory.  His mother, who came from Farmington, Utah, wrote for the local newspaper dutifully reporting all the community activities and gossip.

 Growing up with three sisters (two older and one younger), sports were a big part of Keith’s life.  Not only did his father take him to Utah State games, but in high school Keith was a pole vaulter (he cleared 21 feet when the record was 25 feet). He also was the captain and star of the basketball team, making All State.

Keith continued these sports in college at the University of Utah.  But first he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  It was 1945, near the end of World War II, and Keith was sent to Japan for two years.

 Returning from service, Keith enrolled at the University of Utah.  In his senior year, feeling he needed some extra pizzazz to get dates with the ladies, Keith left school and went to work in a drug store in Las Vegas so he could afford a bright, shiny Mercury convertible. It did indeed prove to be his ticket to the ladies. And Marilyn--one special one from Preston--became his wife of 25 years and mother of six of his children. 

 Keith stayed in the drug store business, becoming a manager in Logan.  Then in 1970 Keith and a friend, who was an executive with a large drug store chain, made his first trip to Sun Valley.  Keith fell in love with the place, and with the encouragement of his friend, met with local realtors and talked to the owner of the grocery store who was very supportive of the concept of an adjacent drug store.

Keith found the space where Chateau Drug is located today, brought four employees from his Logan store to Ketchum and set up business.

 Keith’s son Kirk had an expertise in technology, especially photography, and opened a section in the drug store called Chateau Electro.  Keith then helped Kirk draft an offer for purchase of the whole business, but Keith’s partners turned down the offer.

While sorry to have his best employee quit, Keith said the partners probably did Kirk a favor because young Kirk then pursued his love of fine arts landscape photography for which he has become well known.

 Keith’s son Tony, with whom he currently lives, also followed the path into photography, though it took him to New York, Milan, Miami, back to New York, then Los Angeles before he returned to Sun Valley at the beginning of the pandemic.

 After 25 years of marriage to Marilyn, a divorce, a short second marriage with whom he had a daughter Lisa, Keith’s niece introduced him to a friend from Los Angeles.

Keith first met Lois in Utah and rented an apartment for her in Ketchum to see how things would work out.

While Lois was not a skier, she was a swimmer and ice skater.  After her return to Utah, Lois called Keith and said, “Let’s get married,” and they did.   Since Lois was an airline stewardess,   the perks of her job allowed them to travel to Europe and often to Hawaii.  Unfortunately, Lois died three years ago after a long residency in an assisted care facility.

 Keith’s oldest son Brad is deceased but his other three children with Marilyn – Vicki, Jeff and Bill--all live not far away in Utah, so the family stays close.

 Since Keith sold Chateau Drug, he has been an active participant in Senior Center activities, taking exercise classes, enjoying the lunches there and treating himself to frequent visits to the Community Library in Ketchum.

Having been an avid sportsman, particularly in skiing, golfing and fishing, he is highly devoted to being active, in constant motion. And he can be seen not only at the Senior Center at least three days a week, but also out on daily walks around Ketchum.

When asked what he loved most about his career at Chateau Drug, he said “being the boss.”  And, at 94, you can still see not only his gregarious nature but his commanding presence.

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