Obituary for Ernst R Keuck
“The Friendly Peddler”
Age 92. Resident of Hales Corners for 52 years. Reunited with his loving wife Bronwen on July 5, 2014. Born to Louis H. and Helen F., of Kenosha, WI. Preceded in death by his brother Louis G. Father of James (Jacqueline), Sara (Brian) Bedore, and Patricia (Tom Funk). Grandfather to Stephanie, Meghan, Trent, Timothy, Patrick, Kimberly, and Matthew. Honorary grandfather to Carrie and Stephanie. Great grandfather to Makayla, Andrew, Sophia, Lucas, Riley, Reagan, Drew, Tori, Bradey, Tyler, Krystle, Elliot, and Steven. Uncle of many nieces and nephews.
Ernst served in WWII as a Master Sergeant (E-8) in the US Army with the 101st Airborne Division in England, France, Germany, and Austria. He was a proud recipient of the Bronze Star. He was a faithful member of Faith Community Church in Franklin, WI, and Emanuel Church Hales Corners for 60 years. Lifelong member of the International Order of Odd Fellows.
Ernie showed up for his life. He showed up for life on the family homestead during lean times of the Depression. He showed up for his education in public school and the Presbyterian Church in Kenosha. He showed up for his country during WWII as part of the 101st Airborne Division, becoming Master Sergeant at age 23 and being awarded the Bronze Star. He came home to secure the peace, showing up for Bronwen Roberts and marrying her in 1946. Then he showed up for parenthood: the twins, Sara and Jim, arrived in 1948 and the youngest, Patty in 1953. He showed up for employment: working at the Pfister and Vogel, Brown and Bigelow and then he showed up for 25 years as the Friendly Peddler (his CB Handle) for WW Grainger, making the first one million dollar sale.
He showed up for his faith and those who knew him and Bronwen know the commitment they made throughout their lives. He showed up for making sure his kids were safe, healthy, and educated and able to support themselves.
He was a teacher: he taught Sunday school from his teenage years throughout his adulthood, including being superintendent of Christian Education for Emanuel Church. Then he decided to go to school himself. He took his first college class in his 70’s: buying his first pair of blue jeans for the event. Paired with his black wingtips, he immediately started a fashion craze that swept the nation.
He showed up for interest in everyone’s life and remembered their interests, their work, their lives, and their families. He faithfully read the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel daily: followed the business and political world. He remembered everything. We’ve lost a lot of information and history with his passing.
He showed up for enjoyment. Dad and mom spent many summers at their log cabin in Fish Creek and it became a favorite of the entire family.
He showed up to take care of Bronwen during her long illness. Then he showed up to teach us you’re never too old to learn to love again and you’re never too old to change. He was a special friend to Darlene Held and her family became an extension of ours. Dad also developed lovely relationships at his new church, Faith Community Church of Franklin.
Funeral services were held at Faith Community Church on Friday, July 11, 2014. If desired, memorials may be directed to Faith Community Church, 7700 W. Faith Dr., Franklin, WI 53132, or Adult Day Services at The Lutheran Home, 7500 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53213.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Richard Basile for his care to both dad and mom over the past 20 years. Also to Dr. Kumar of the Heart Hospital and the staff there as well as the staff of VITAS Inpatient Hospice of Wauwatosa. A special thank you to Jennifer Nowak, of Stowell and Associates: his friend and advocate.
We also wish to thank David W. Grainger of WW Grainger, Inc. Mr. Grainger believed in his employees and provided retirees with health insurance. Dad never had to worry about his or mother’s health care, and the family wishes to acknowledge the compassion of this employer to his employees.