October 5, 2018 at 3:15pm

Dixie Jo Keck ObituaryMemorial for Dixie Hertenstein Keck ’59

Dixie Jo Keck, 81, passed away September 20, 2018, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon, IL, under the care of Hospice. She was born in Belleville, IL, on April 6, 1937, in the same hospital and only a few days earlier than the birth of her future husband, Ralph Dean Keck.

Dixie graduated from the O'Fallon Township High School class of 1955, and went on to graduate from Millikin University in 1959, and she also obtained her Master's Degree from SIU-E. Dixie taught in O'Fallon School District 90 for 30 years, first at Marie Schaefer when it was a primary school, then later at Hinchcliffe Elementary School, where she was instrumental in the overall design of the school. She had an almost encyclopedic mind for the dates of occurrences within the school, district and town.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Dan and Doris (nee Joseph) Hertenstein; her mother-in-law, Fern Keck Higgins; father-in-law, Walter Keck; her uncle, Don Joseph; and her brother, Dean Hertenstein.

Dixie is survived by her beloved husband, Ralph, who still resides in O'Fallon with their loyal dog, Patty; her daughter and son-in-law, Karen (Mark) Campbell, who live in Kirksville, MO, and their children, Maggie and Bob; daughter and son-in-law, Kathy (Mike) Cornwall, who live in O'Fallon, and their children Jennifer, Sean, and Erin; her daughter, Kristie Belobrajdic, also of O'Fallon; and her sons, Jack and Kevin; her aunt, Margaret Joseph of Cedaredge, CO; and beloved cousins and friends.

Over the years she was blessed with the kindness of caregivers, notably from long-term caregivers Carmen Hamilton and Gwen Bean as well as Lisa Parram, Ashley Middleton, Megan Krneta, Tikki Berry and Chris Hamann.

Dixie spent her entire life in O'Fallon where she lived for over 50 years in the house that she and her husband built in the country. A dedicated High School Band Booster since 1976, she traveled with the band and continued to support them throughout her life. She enjoyed playing cards, working in her big yard, decorating for holidays, and attending events of her grandchildren. Dixie's seven grandchildren were the light of her life and she found great pleasure in attending their events, following their journeys, encouraging them in multiple ways, and supporting them in every way possible. While the kids were blessed to have Dixie as their Grandma, she was equally as blessed and always showed great pride and joy in each one of them. 

Dixie put together countless barbecues and picnics at their O'Fallon home, hosting many kinds of social gatherings and celebrations. She also loved spending time with friends and family at their home on Lake of the Ozarks, always encouraging everyone to swim, fish, ski, and enjoy every meal, because "everything tastes better at the Lake".

Dixie's energy and enthusiasm were legendary, and no project she set her mind on was ever too large. 

Memorials to honor her life may be donated to either the OTHS Band Boosters or the Hinchcliffe School Outdoor Science Classroom. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.wfh-ofallon.com

Services: Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with the service immediately following. Services will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at Hinchcliffe School, 1050 Ogle Rd., O'Fallon, Illinois.


Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Sept. 23, 2018


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