European edition, Saturday, June 30, 2007

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Hundreds of airmen, friends and family members gathered Friday morning to remember the good times had by Air Force Staff Sgt. Keith E. Lombardi.

Those paying respects to Lombardi filled Ramstein’s North Chapel for a full Catholic Mass. Lombardi, 25, died Monday when the car he was driving hit a tree on a narrow road near Ramstein Air Base.

Angeleé Lombardi said her husband would do anything for her, including recently overcoming his fear of heights to go skydiving.

“He was not just a great man,” she said. “He was the greatest man I have ever known.”

Keith Lombardi was a precision measurement equipment laboratory craftsman in the test measurement and diagnostic equipment flight, 86th Maintenance Squadron. He earned the flight maintenance professional of the year in 2005 and 2006 and was selected for staff sergeant his first year of testing.

“The Air Force was truly a better service for the time he was with us,” said Maj. Margaret Romero, 86th Maintenance Squadron commander.

Growing up, Lombardi was active in sports and served as an altar boy. He studied tae kwon do and earned a black belt by age 12.

The Lombardis started dating as juniors in high school and married in November 2000.

In Europe, Lombardi loved adventure and travel. He had visited more than 12 countries since coming to Germany in 2003.

Lombardi put so much effort into bringing airmen from the unit together for camping trips, dinners, parties, poker nights and the like, said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Yakowenko, TMDE flight chief. Lombardi would raise his glass at each event and proudly proclaim “good times,” Yakowenko said.

“I don’t know how or when we’ll have good times again,” he said. “I don’t know how it will ever be the same.”

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