Porterville Recorder

Leonard J. Keck Feb. 06, 1925 - Feb. 06, 2022


Leonard was born in Success Valley on February 6, 1925 and passed away peacefully on his 97th birthday. He was the youngest of 6 children born to Tolly and Bessie (Hall) Keck. He was the last of them.

He attended Pleasant View Grammar School and graduated as class president in 1940. He then attended Portervill­e Union High School where he played baseball as a pitcher. He left school at 16 to work in the shipyards in Alameda and enlisted in the army at age 17.

He was inducted on April 23, 1943 and served in the 233rd Salvage Collection Company in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe and the Ardennes. One of his favorite stories is about a German pilot flying so low that from the ground you could see his eyes. Another memory was of two American pilots flying over the Bonn Highway and under bridges! He was injured by a booby trap while unloading metal and spent time in a hospital in Belgium.

He returned home and finished high school and a little bit of college on the Portervill­e High campus. That is where he had a blind date with this cute young lady from Ducor. They married in January of 1949 and began their life on East Poplar Ave. He and Marian (Hester) were married for 73 years.

He worked at the Farm Tribune as a pressman, then Sierra Press and finally at Good Shepard Home of the West in Terra Bella. He could take the big Heidelberg press apart and put it back together. He took great pride in his work and made many friends. He was a flirt and loved to tease. He had a quick wit and was always fun to be around.

He and Marian welcomed Jennifer (Mckinsey) in 1950 and Jeffrey in 1951. He always had a garden and over the years the neighborho­od benefited from his bountiful garden. Mom would ask why he planted so much and his reply was he liked to see things grow. He always had a dog for a companion and had many stories to tell about them. He always took beautiful pictures and we are far from going through all of them.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his siblings and their spouses and his grandson, Jeffrey Michael and son Jeffrey. He is survived by his wife Marian, his daughter Jennifer Mckinsey of Portervill­e, his grandchild­ren, James Mckinsey of Anaheim and Sarah Mckinsey of Portervill­e. two great-grandchild­ren, John Mckinsey-leal and Chloe Davis and many nieces and nephews.

No services are planned at this time.

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