Charles Aikin Keck
March 4, 1936 - January 11, 2021
Lacey, Washington - Charles Aikin Keck, MD died January 11, 2021, in Lacey, WA, from Lewy Body Dementia. Born March 4, 1936, to Reiss M. Keck and Kathryn Ruth Aikin in Newark, OH, he was 84 years old. Dr. Keck was a pediatrician at Group Health Medical Center. He thoroughly enjoyed his patients, their parents, and his medical colleagues and was known as a calm and caring physician. He lived a life filled with family, choral music, photography, gardening, hiking and piano. He became a licensed massage therapist in retirement.
After his mother's early death, Charlie's paternal grandparents and four aunts on the family farm near New Concord, OH, lovingly raised him. His schoolteacher father was there weekends and summers. When his father married Alice Fassett, a teaching colleague, in 1942, she became Charlie's devoted mother and encouraged his appreciation of music.
Charlie graduated from Oakwood High School, Dayton, OH, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, where his fondest memories were provided by the music department: Glee Club, the Cardinals octet junior year, and the Jibers quartet senior year. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi and Mystical Seven, an honorary society.
Medical School at Case-Western University in Cleveland, OH, was Charlie's favorite educational experience. A summer job in Berkeley, CA, kindled a lifelong interest in public health. He married Carolyn Lois Mould on June 27, 1959, in Dayton, OH. Charlie interned in internal medicine and pediatrics and completed a pediatric residency at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY. Following military service at Travis AFB in CA, he spent a year in adolescent medicine at the University of Washington.
In 1968 Charlie became the director of the Children and Youth Clinic, a "Great Society" program for low-income children in the Columbia City area of Seattle. He supported the Black Panthers in projects to improve the lives of children in the Central Area. During that time he was the volunteer doctor for "Open Door," the first free drug clinic in Seattle.
The Keck family moved to Olympia in 1972 when Group Health opened. In 1982 he was instrumental in founding the Community Care Clinic which used physician volunteers to treat low income and part-time workers who could not afford medical care. He received a Jefferson Day Award from Governor John Spellman in 1983. In 1984, the clinic doctors were honored with the Washington State Governor's Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service as a "group of volunteers that has demonstrated extraordinary initiative and originality in designing or creating an innovative project to benefit community needs."
He was awarded the Providence Pride community service award for an individual in 1997 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Physicians of Southwest Washington in 2012.
Charlie led a life rich in experiences. He trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, climbed to 17,000 feet on Denali and summited Mt. Rainier twice. He and Carolyn walked the 200-mile Coast-to-Coast trail in England and the 100-mile West Highland Way in Scotland. While on a sabbatical in Australia, he became part of the local pediatric community and spent a month in the Northern Territory on aboriginal missions. He was a scoutmaster, a Master Gardener, a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, a skilled photographer, and a student of jazz piano. He was known as a master punster, a ready wit, and for travel journals popular with family and friends.
Charlie is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 61 years; children: Bruce and Lisa Keck; Douglas and Angela Keck; David and Karen Keck Hougan; grandchildren Mikayla and Alexander Hougan; sister-in-law Barbara Young; brother-in-law R. Gerald "Jerry" Mould; cousins Rolland and JoAn Wilson, and Sheila and Malcolm Kennedy; nieces and nephews Carolyn Sue Rospierski, Katherine Flenniken, Susan YoungCrane, Christopher "Mac" Mould, R. Rockwell "Rocky" Mould; cousins Jim, Martha and Nancy Fassett, Ken Dykstra, Laurie Steele, Carla Skuchas and Betsy Miller.
The Keck family is grateful for the love and support of the Gentle Care Unit and the health care providers at the Panorama Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center.
Memorials may be sent to the Keck Scholarship at SPSCC, 2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia 98512 (https://spscc.edu/foundation
) or the Nature Conservancy (WA state Tribute account), 4245 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 100, Arlington, VA 22203 or a charity of your choice
. The family hopes to have a Celebration of Life when conditions allow.
Memories may be left at www. Funeral Alternatives.org
Published by The Olympian on Feb. 7, 2021.