Keith R. Nyland

Apr 12, 2017

May 5, 1941 — March 31, 2017

WAYNESVILLE — Keith Ryan Nyland, 75, passed away peacefully after complications from a heart attack on Friday, March 31, 2017, surrounded by family and friends.

Keith was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Russell and Alberta Nyland on May 5, 1941.  Music travel and history were Keith’s longtime loves. A longtime member of Vaud-Villities Productions in Columbus, Ohio, he sang in the men’s glee club for nearly 40 years. He also sang in his church’s choirs at Maple Grove United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio, and the First United Methodist Church of Waynesville.  He sang with The Land of Sky Chorus, of Asheville.

Keith graduated from Ohio’s Baldwin Wallace University with a B.A., the University of Chicago with a master’s degree and then completed his Ph.D. in history at Ohio State University in 1971. He taught at the high school and college levels, teaching at Ohio University.

Keith traveled to over 50 countries. He and his wife, Kris Wiard Nyland, helped others during trips hosted by the Global Volunteers.

His parents and his older brother, Bruce Nyland, preceded Keith in death.

Keith is survived by, his wife of 25 years, Kris; daughter, Heidi Nyland Melocco, daughter of Carolyn Nyland; son-in-law, Jared Melocco; granddaughter, Savannah Melocco.

A celebration of Keith’s life is planned at 11 a.m. April 22, at First United Methodist Church of Waynesville. All are invited to stay for a reception then lunch will follow for close family and friends. RSVP for the lunch at Nyland.

Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge of arrangements. An online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at