David Lynn Keck, 82, residing in Granger, passed away Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Ernestine M. Raclin House in Mishawaka, IN. He was born in La Porte, IN on July 2, 1940, to the late Ruth (Worster) and Harry D. Keck. He attended Colfax School in South Bend, then moved to North Liberty and went to 1st and part of 2nd grades before attending Perley School. He then attended Madison Jr. High in South Bend, along with schools in DC, Virginia and Corpus Christi, TX, as well as South Bend Central.
Dave lived with many aunts and uncles, along with foster homes in various states. He never forgot the many people that helped him in his early years including long-time friend, Jon Hickey, who let Dave sleep in his car at the age of 14 and gave him breakfast every day in exchange for Dave helping him run his large paper route. Dave and Jon remained friends for over 60 years along with their wives and children.
Dave worked many jobs in his early years including Oliver Printing Plant on Sample Street, H.D. Lee Company, running a route for Bungalow Pie Company, and driving semi-trucks. He was also employed by several machine shops and became a local steel workers president in Michigan with the old Bertrand Products Company.
In the mid-1960’s, Dave co-owned a snack shop on Mishawaka Avenue while also running a snack route in South Bend. He joined Coffee Break Systems in 1969 before purchasing the company in 1980. In 1987, the name was changed to Keck’s Klear Water Company and run by Dave, his wife Karen, and son Doug. The company saw great growth, and Dave earned the Executive Journal Award in 1993 for Small Businessperson of the Year. Dave and Karen retired from the business in 2007, and Dave joined Online Data Company in South Bend.
While the children were growing up, Dave was a scout leader, little league coach, PTA president, and past member and officer of American Turners. He joined the Roseland Rotary Club in 1986, where he served as past president, secretary and a Paul Harris Fellow. He also served on the board of Dismas House for over 30 years, where he was past president and received the Jack Hickey Award. Additionally, Dave believed in the mission of Goodwill, where he also served on the MGB board.
Dave and Karen were members for over 48 years of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger, where Dave served as Hospitality Minister, Altar Server and was a member of Team 4 Christ Renews His Parish. He loved his daily prayers and spending quiet time with Christ. Dave had been confirmed Catholic at St. Matthews Cathedral in South Bend in 1961, choosing the confirmation name of Dismas.
Dave met the former Karen Sue Dhaene in 1960, and they were married July 1, 1961, at St. Bavos Parish in Mishawaka. Dave always gave Karen credit for taming his wild ways and leading him to his love for Christ and the Catholic Church. They had been married for over 61 years.
Dave is survived by his three children, sons Douglas R. (Bettie) Keck of Elkhart, IN, and Todd David Keck of Mishawaka, IN; and daughter, Michelle (Scott Pontzious) of Osceola, IN. He cherished his role as grandfather to Ashley (Brian) Lambert, Tyler (Ariel) Keck, and Alexa Bendit, and as great-grandfather to Miles Keck, and Olivia and Lillian Lambert. Dave’s family also extended to his beloved Yorkie, Sophie.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30am Friday, June 2, 2023 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 52553 Fir Road, Granger, IN. Friends may visit with the family for one hour prior to mass at the church. Palmer Funeral Home – Hickey Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Dave may be donated to Dismas House, 521 S St. Joseph St, South Bend, IN 46601.
Online condolences may be left for the Keck family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
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