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George William KeckOctober 14, 1940 ~ October 6, 2017 (age 76)
George William Keck
Oct 14, 1940 – Oct 6, 2017
George William Keck lived a full and rich life despite life setbacks. George was born on Oct 14, 1940 to George and Lydia Keck in Pennsylvania. He was the eldest of two children; he was three years older than his younger brother, James (Pete) Keck. When he was a young boy he would bring beautiful flowers to his mother and one day she wondered where such a young boy was getting such beautiful flowers. All George knew was he loved brightening his mother’s day with the beautiful flowers he collected from the cemetery next door. In his innocence, he didn’t know why they were put there. When George was eight years old his mother passed away and he went to live with his grandparents on their hay and corn farm near where he was living. George and his brother loved growing up on that farm and made many wonderful memories exploring and going on their childhood adventures. One story that illustrates George’s playful nature was when he was 10 years old he told his brother to hide behind a tree while he pretended he was dead lying in the snow next to train tracks as the train passed. They then repeated this the next day. Well the local detective came and followed the track back and they were discovered and got a lecture. George said “It’s a funny thing that someone can’t play dead on their own farm.”
George graduated high school back in Pennsylvania and as a young man he joined the Army, which took him around the world multiple times and he embraced many different cultures. Some of the places outside of the United States included Japan, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam and Okinawa. The place he thought was the most beautiful was Okinawa. In Okinawa he loved the tropical weather and scuba diving around the beautiful coral reefs. Some of the places he lived within the United States included Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and two separate times in Utah. George had over 28 years of honorable military service, which included two tours in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). He retired as a Master Sergeant E-8 in Logistics as a supply specialist. Working in supply where everybody wants something from you, but having limited resources one has to manage demands. He was respectfully nicknamed Grumpy. Even today his email is Grumpygwk@gmail.com. I never saw his Grumpy side. In the army he was also known for being an expert M-16 riffle marksman. Once he retired from the military he continued a career as a civil servant for another 23 years in Logistics for the military until he officially retired.
Marriage and family Life
During his lifetime George was married three times. His first marriage was to his sweetheart from the states and they had a Son and Daughter together, the second was for 20 years to a woman that he met while in Japan and the third was to Sue, which he met while he was in Korea. They would have been married 29 years this December. Sue and George had one son together named Aaron. George joined the Freemasons and he served as a Master Mason twice. He achieved the 33rd Degree, which is the highest degree you can reach in the masons. The 33rd Degree is only achievable if someone recommends you because you put your life on the line for someone else and is rarely heard of. He was also part of the Million Dollar Club, which represent many hours of service he gave to the Shriner Hospitals. His other hobbies and interests also included road trips, camping and traveling. He enjoyed working in his garage and around the yard.
Man of God
In his last two years of his life he moved back to Utah and we all got to know George for his sweet spirit and genuine personality. Shortly after his arrival to Utah, tragedy struck and George and Sue lost their son to a tragic accident in Korea. He reached out for help on both how to manage the snow and to handle his grief. The neighbors rallied around George and Sue. George took the missionary lessons and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a great man and he loved the Gospel and shared it with all he came into contact with. Throughout his life, George strove to get closer to his Heavenly Father and he was very committed yet humble enough to always be learning and growing. There was a time in his life that he had lost his dog for a span of three weeks and he had done everything in his power to find him. He turned to the lord and asked Him to help find his dog and if He could he would quit drinking alcohol. Only a day later the dog was found and George quit drinking there and then. After joining the church and learning about the three kingdoms of Glory, he remarked, I guess it’s the Celestial kingdom we are shooting for. Being George, he was always all in and didn’t look back. He always looked forward to visits from neighbors and passerby’s as he would sit in his garage. He spoke so tenderly about all the out pouring of love and cherished every one of your visits. He even mentioned to his cousins that if he was to imagine what Heaven would be like he thought it would be a lot like our ward and how giving everyone is. He always looked for the lord’s hand in all things - even when the drunk driver ran into his house, he mentioned how sorry he felt for the young man and how it would affect the rest of his life. He also saw that tragedy as a blessing that would help open Sue’s eyes to how loving and kind the neighbors where and hoped someday that it would lead her to the fullness of the gospel as well. George was called home to our Loving Father in Heaven on Friday Oct 6, 2017 at 6 pm George, we love you and you will be missed.
Funeral services were held Monday, October 9, 2017 at the Syracuse 1st Ward, 700 So. 2500 W., Syracuse, Utah.