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Howard Jack Keil

October 6, 1919 ~ May 8, 2018 (age 98)
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Howard Jack Keil left this world May 8, 2018 to rejoin his loving wife of over seventy-two years, June Keil, who preceded him in death in 2013. Jack, as he was affectionately known to his friends, was never an officer, but always a gentleman to his friends, having served his country honorably as a Technical Sergeant in the US Army Air Corps in World War II as a top turret gunner and an in flight mechanic on B-24s.

            His plane was shot down over Austria on July 26, 1944, which resulted in him becoming a POW and being detained at Stalag Luft IV in Poland until near the end of the war, when to evade repatriation by the Allies, thousands of other troops and he were forced by their captors, as part of the Black March, to leave their camps and walk westward across Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany in extreme winter conditions, over about four months between January and April 1945.

            Thankfully, he survived the ordeal, was repatriated and came home to see his daughter, Dana Keil, who had been born while he was overseas. Jack and June were blessed with three more children, Cheryl Keil (who also predeceased him), Dennis Keil [Mary] and Candace Keil. He built a wonderful life for his family while being a coal and/or lumber truck driver for the former Gallant Lumber and Coal Company.

            With Jack it was always "family first" whether it was driving the boat so his kids or grandkids could ski endless circles around Wamplers Lake or Clark Lake, hauling the kids up the hill at Pokagon State Park so they could do the toboggan run in winter or driving the family to the beach when they came to visit June and him when they started spending their winters in Bonita Springs, Florida after their retirement.

            Big Papa's passing leaves a large void in the hearts of his grandchildren, Jamie Keil [Brenda] and Katie Glowski [Jordon Fisher] and of his great grandchildren, Brooke, Jackson, Justin, Jack, Lara, Asher and Reagan. He was blessed with having all the "little ones" live nearby, so that he was able to maintain contact and get hugs from them up until near his passing.

            Family and friends may call at the Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 Main St., Sylvania, Tuesday May 15, 2018 3:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. where funeral services will be held , Wednesday, at 11:00 A.M.

            The family asks that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the National or Local POW/MIA or organizations that provide assistance and benefit to our Veterans.


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