Christopher Keech of St. Joseph played his final encore and passed away Aug. 10, 2020.
A lifetime resident of Southwestern Michigan, Chris entertained us all with his talent as a musician and performer. His talent for music led him to teach, conduct, and share his talent both locally and around the world.
A Hartford High School graduate of 1983, Chris went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force, where he was chosen to perform in the prestigious ensemble “Tops in Blue”, traveling to bases around the country as well as various special events. One such event included a Detroit 4th of July celebration in front of over 500,000 people. Chris had such talent as a musician that he performed with such artists as The Temptations, Captain & Tennille, and Michael Bolton. Chris also took his talent for playing to perform on cruise ships traveling all across the globe.
After leaving the Air Force, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and went on to become a music teacher and parapro in several schools throughout Southwestern Michigan, his most recent position being at Coloma Community Schools.
Chris’s musical talent led him to be chosen as saxophone section leader and co-manager for the St. Joseph Municipal Band over the last 33 years.
Chris’s wit, kind heart, and sheer talent will be missed by all who knew him, especially his family. His presence may be gone, but his music will carry on.
He was preceded in death by his parents: James (Ruth) Keech, and infant brother, Kiplan Thomas Keech of Hartford.
Survivors include brothers: Timothy (Mary) of Kennewick, Wash., and Matthew (Gaytha) of Hartford; sister, Rachel (John Daly) of Mattawan; aunts: Sharyn Robbins-Kuempel (Kenneth) of Sawyer and Barbara Keech of Eau Claire; five nephews; one great-nephew; one niece; and four cousins.
Chris has been cremated. The family will welcome friends from 1 - 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27 at the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford. A larger memorial celebration of his life will take place at a later date when current restrictions are relaxed. A private burial of his ashes will take place in Maple Hill Cemetery, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial donations in Chris’ name be made to Coloma Community Schools to support a future music scholarship in his name. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
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Coloma Community Schools (Future Music Scholarship in Christopher's Name)
302 West Saint Joseph Street, Coloma MI 49038