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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Roy Elzie Keck, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)April 22, 1931 – September 7, 2019
Roy Elzie Keck was born April 22, 1931 and passed away on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Barrington Place Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Clinton, Utah. Roy was born in Blue Springs, Nebraska to Elzie Elmo and Mary Ellen Graham Keck, the 3rd of 6 children.
Roy grew up in Nebraska and Kansas, spending summers on the farm with his Grandpa Keck doing a variety of farm chores. He was educated in Kansas and Nebraska, but spent his senior year at Albany High School, Albany, Oregon where he graduated in the class of 1949. He attended Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, with a football scholarship and was part of Washburn’s team winning a championship in 1949. He graduated from Washburn in 1954 and earned a BS degree in Music and also receiving a commission of 1st Lt. into the United States Air Force and served for twenty years.
He married his college sweetheart, Maxine Joanne Lewis, December 28, 1952, Topeka, Kansas and was later sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple, June 15, 1956. They spent almost 67 loving years together.
Roy was a major contributor and active participant in furthering the cause of aviation for 20 years. He served as a pilot in the US Air Force from 1954 to 1974. Most of his years were spent flying rescue helicopters. He flew in harm’s way to save lives of those caught in life threatening situations in many parts of Alaska. He flew his H-21 to transport VIP’s around the Yellowstone Earthquake of 1959. He was air rescue pilot (Jolly Green Giant HH-3E) in Viet Nam, 1966-1967. He was also Detachment Commander of Helicopters at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico. While at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, he was Chief Flying Safety Officer.
In addition to his flying he had a Pentagon duty assignment as an “Air Force Advanced Agent” for Presidential Flights (Air Force One) during the Nixon administration. In grateful acknowledgement of his outstanding support in helping create the National Air and Space Museum Steven F Udva-Hazy Center in Washington D.C. and in recognition of his contributions, his name is inscribed on the National Aviation and Space Exploration Wall of Honor as a permanent testament to his commitment and passion for aviation and space exploration. During his military career he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and other Air Medals. He retired from the US Air Force at a Lt. Col in 1974.
Roy continued his service in aviation by working for the United States Forest Service from 1975 to 1994. He was the Intermountain Regional Aviation Safety Manager headquartered in Ogden, Utah. He was involved in investigating aircraft accidents for the US Forest Service.Roy had a love for sports and music, including listening and playing the piano for his own enjoyment, singing in quartets and choirs. He studied music and elementary education at Washburn University.
He was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in various local church positions, including Bishop. He also served two Stake missions and a full-time mission with his wife in the England Birmingham Mission. He and his wife also served a mission in the LDS Employment and Resource Center in Layton, Utah. He served as an ordinance worker in the Bountiful, Ogden and Washington D.C. temples for many years. He loved the Lord with all his heart, always serving a neighbor when in need and his greatest joy was being with his family and siblings. He was totally devoted to his Heavenly Father, his Savior Jesus Christ and family. His family was the most precious joy and he loved each one of them dearly.
Roy was preceded in death by his parents, Elzie Elmo Keck and Mary Ellen Graham Keck, his brother Sterling Keck and his sister Mary Ruth Keck Thompson. He is survived by son Brad Keck (Patricia), daughter Diane Keck Fisher (Blaine), and sons Mitchell Keck (Christy), Steven Keck (Deana) and Andrew Keck (Holly), 16 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Fiddlers Creek Ward, 380 S Fairfield Road, Layton, Utah. Friends may visit Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Kaysville Mortuary, 400 North Main and Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Interment, Kaysville City Cemetery.
Condolences may be shared at: www.lindquistmortuary.com
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