Phyllis Vivian (Smith) Keck


Phyllis Vivian (Smith) Keck, 91, of Mountville, passed to her heavenly home on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at St. Anne’s Retirement Community. She was born in Columbia, daughter of the late Paul R. and Charlotte Bard Smith. She was the wife of the late Robert Keck for 65 years before his passing in 2014.

Growing up in a loving home, she developed a love of people, her church and community. Helping others was her role in life. She cared for her mother-in-law, who was stricken with Parkinson’s disease, for 9 years, in her home. For 20 years, she was the caregiver of her mother, Charlotte, who was challenged in the aftermath of a stroke. At age 18, she, along with her mother and sisters became caregivers to her infant brother upon the untimely death of her father. Her life focused on caring for her family, friends and her church, Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church for 65 consecutive years where she played the organ continuously. Also she played on Sunday afternoons at St. John Herr Estates, for 15 years.

As a member of Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, Phyllis served in various capacities of the Church. She played the organ for many weddings, funerals and church events for more than 6 decades.

Mrs. Keck graduated from Columbia High School in 1944 where she was a commencement speaker. Phyllis was a member of the Lancaster Musical Arts Society, Director of Music for Job’s Daughters, Bethel 7, for over 40 years, an Honorary Permanent Member of the Grand Guardian Council, and the recipient of the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation’s HODEGOS award, recognizing exemplary volunteer leadership. Phyllis was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post # 8757, and a Diamond Life Sponsor member of the NWTF.

Among her hobbies included, baking, cooking, canning, helping her husband with their vegetable garden and many others. She liked to spend time traveling with her husband to Germany, Alaska and South Carolina. Most of all, she loved to spend quality time with her family and friends.

The family would like to express their appreciation for the excellent care received from all of the staff at St. Anne’s Retirement Community. Dr. Robert Shultz, and Hospice and Community Care. Thanks also to Pastor Mary Anne Kingsborough and Pastor Tom Rundell and the whole Concordia family. We are indeed grateful for the kindnesses and the care from each and every one.

Surviving are two children: Rob (Susan) Keck, Edgefield, SC; and Carol (Jeff) Gill, Lancaster. Three grandchildren: Carolyn (Curtis) Wright North Augusta, SC; Heather (Charlie) Reynolds, Greenville, SC; and Ryan (Angela) Gill, Lancaster. Five great-grandchildren: Cadence and Kellen Wright; Hank, Coleman and Hays Reynolds. Phyllis was preceded in death by her brother Paul and her sister Eleanor.

The Funeral Service will be held at Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3825 Concordia Road, Columbia, PA 17512 on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. with Pastor Mary Anne Kingsborough and Pastor Thomas Rundell, officiating. Friends may call at the church from 9:30 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions in Phyllis’s name to: Concordia Evangelical Church. Arrangements by the Workman Funeral Homes, Inc., Mountville/Columbia. To send an online condolence, visit the condolence page.