Jack Keyes of Palm Harbor, Florida, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at home on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Jack was born on December 6, 1933 in Lansing, Michigan to Melville and Lucille Keyes. He leaves his wife of 64 years, Bernice â€œBunnyâ€ Keyes and their children, Sandra (Matthew) VanStratt, Stephen (Kelley) Keyes, Susan (Karim) Khiar, and Julia (Jeffrey) Vasta; as well as 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Jack Keyes was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas Keyes, and his parents.
A funeral mass will take place on Saturday, July 14 at 10:00 am at St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and internment at Trinity Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Jack to the scholarship fund at Lansingâ€™s Capital Region Community Foundation (517) 272-2870.
Jack received a BA an MA degree from Michigan State University, while working full-time and raising his family with Bunny. Jack loved working with children and teaching. He found his passion and calling as an elementary school teacher and principal for 35 years with the Lansing School District. In 1967 Jack was promoted to Cluster Head Principal and Instructional Leader of four schools, including Barnes, Lewton, Elmhurst and Main Street Schools. He was particularly proud of his contributions to address racial inequality and the efforts to end segregation in the Lansing School District. When Main Street closed he became principal of Northwestern Elementary where he remained until he retired in 1994. He then moved to Palm Harbor, Florida and served for 10 years as adjunct professor with the University of South Floridaâ€™s College of Education. Guiding and advising future teachers during their internships was very fulfilling and rewarding to him.
Jack loved to travel and explore new cultures and cuisines. He inspired wanderlust in his family, whether camping in a pop-up Starcraft camper or staying in five-star hotels, exploring perhaps hundreds of state and national parks, or sailing on cruise ships. He traveled with them extensively, visiting several countries, as well as visiting all 50 states with Bunny, reaching Alaska and Hawaii just three years ago. He was an avid gardener and took great pride in his raspberries. He had a joie de vivre, a passion for poetry, and life force that were legendary. We know his heart with pleasure fills, as he dances with the daffodils.