Keith Harper and his wife were both born and raised in Port Townsend, Washington. Keith graduated from Port Townsend High School in 1972. He initially went to college at Seattle University and transferred to Eastern Washington State College, playing college basketball. He finished his college degree at the University of Washington in the spring of 1977. He began law school at the University of Puget Sound Law School in Tacoma in the fall of 1977 and graduated in December, 1979. He took and passed the state bar exam in February, 1980.
Immediately upon graduating from law school, Keith and his wife returned to Port Townsend. Keith worked with long-time Port Townsend attorney Glenn Abraham for two years and then opened his own law office in 1982. He continued in the private practice of law through December, 2012, and closed his office after being elected and beginning to serve as Jefferson County Superior Court Judge.
During his career as a lawyer, Keith had a diverse practice. He served for approximately one year as the part-time District Court public defender in the early 1980s. He was the first attorney for the Jefferson Transit Authority and served for approximately nine years. During a time when the position was still part-time, he served as the Port Townsend City Attorney for eight years and later as the part-time City Prosecutor for approximately fifteen years.
Keith was appointed as a part-time Superior Court Commissioner by Judge Crad Verser in July, 2004, and continued serving as such until taking the bench as Superior Court Judge on January 14, 2013. He also served as a District Court Judge Pro-Tem for approximately two years. During his 32-year career as a lawyer Keith had varied experience with most areas of the law.
Keith has been involved in a number of community and other activities during his career. He coached Jefferson County youth basketball teams for a number of years and coached the Port Townsend middle school 8th grade boys’ basketball team for 2 years. He is a former member and board member of the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce; former chairman of the Rhododendron Festival; former chairman of the Port Townsend Victorian Homes Tour; former chairman and treasurer of the Port Townsend Citizens for Schools committee; former 2-time President of the Jefferson County Bar Association; former President and current member of the Port Townsend Kiwanis Club, an assistant coach of the Port Townsend High School Mock Trial team, as well as having served on various other committees and assisted other nonprofit organizations. He enjoys golfing, walking, exercising, reading, traveling and family activities.
Keith married his high-school sweetheart Jeinell in 1977 after he completed college and she completed nursing school. They have known each other all of their lives. They have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren.