Tracy Gray Keck, Sr., age 78 years old of Niles, Michigan husband, father, grandfather, commercial artist, and honorable veteran died unexpectedly at 10:55 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in the Emergency Department of Spectrum Health – Lakeland Hospital in Niles following a brief illness. His family is grateful for the efforts provided by the staff of the ambulance service and hospital.
He was born on November 21, 1942 in Niles to Louis H. and Helen (Day) Keck. He attended Niles Community Schools until enlisting in the United States Navy where he continued his education, earning his GED and two years of college courses. He served on the destroyer escort, USS Kretchmer patrolling the western Pacific Ocean, including the coast of Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in 1969 as a Radioman First Class and Veteran of the Vietnam Era.
He returned to Niles and learned how to paint commercial vehicles including heavy trucks and recreational vehicles. He opened his own shop, T&J Enterprises in Cassopolis, Michigan, providing a full range of services including hand pinstriping.
Tracy was a member of the Pokagon United Methodist Church. He enjoyed dining with his wife at a variety of area restaurants, and restaurant visits with their closest friends. He was well known for his pride in maintaining his yard, especially careful and regular mowing.
On July 4, 1964 in Niles he married the former Janet Kay Storey with whom he celebrated last year the remarkable fifty-sixth anniversary of their wedding.
Surviving family includes his wife, Janet Keck and their sons, Tracy G. Keck, Jr. of Niles and Jason H. (& Jennifer) Keck of Niles; grandchildren Tracy G. (& Britney) Keck III, Kayana, Zachary Keck, and Ethan Keck; and Tracy, Sr.’s brother, Sam (& Sue) Maxedon of Niles.
The family of Tracy Keck, Sr. will gather privately so share memories and honor his life. Contributions in memory of Tracy may be made to the Old Rugged Cross Church Foundation, Post Office Box 41, Niles, Michigan, 49120, http://www.the-oldruggedcross.org/ . Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Tracy clearly had attention to detail, as a radioman listening for evidence of potential attackers, or making those big trucks and r.v.s attractive and unique for their owners, and a manicured front lawn; but his greatest attention was for his friends, his family, and especially his wife.