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Life Story / Obituary
Born April 20, 1931 in Kalamazoo, Eugen passed away at Bronson Hospital on his 84th birthday – Monday, April 20. He was the second child and eldest son of German immigrants Eugen Christian Keck and Erna (Riederer) Keck. Known as Gene or Huey to family and friends, he attended State High before enlisting in the United States Air Force, serving in the Korean Conflict while stationed in Alaska. After his military service, Huey was a member of the Disabled American Veterans but went on to a long, full career at Fuller Manufacturing, which became Eaton Corporation by his retirement.
Following a retirement from Eaton, he was a well-known fixture as a parking enforcement officer for Western Michigan University where he was affectionately lampooned as ‘Sgt. Shark’ for his diligent service. Huey became a regular at his favorite local diner, Ted & Marie’s Colonial Inn in Oshtemo.
He enjoyed classic cars, motorcycle riding and time outdoors walking, swimming and hunting. He was an avid swimmer in Lake Michigan, beginning his swimming season as early as April and continuing until late October. He had a strong faith in Christ and great appreciation for the natural world, especially his love of large, old-growth trees and the sound of spring peepers in the marsh.
Gene was preceded in death by both parents, a younger brother, Paul Keck, and a brother-in-law, Anthony VerHey. He is survived by two sisters, Gisela VerHey of Texas Corners and Sandra (Wade) Adams of Kalamazoo, six children: Robert, Edward (Johnette), Ryan, Scott (Sheila), Brian and Jennifer (Jose Espino), six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
Burial with full military honors will take place on Monday, April 27 at 12:00 noon in Fort Custer National Cemetery. Afterward, relatives and friends will be gathering at Ted & Marie’s Restaurant from 1:30 to 3:00, to share memories and fellowship. Memorial contributions may be made to DAV- Disabled American Veterans VARO McNamara Federal Bldg. 477 Michigan Ave, Room 1200 Detroit, MI 48226.