John Oscar Kekec of Bonne Terre, Missouri, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at the age of 88.
John was born Feb. 10, 1934, in Pittsburg, Kansas, to Edith Pugh and John Frederic Kekec. He is survived by Mary Kekec, his wife of 66 years; sister, Ramona Dayhoff; children, Ed (Bev), Stan (Cindy), Donna Wayne (Mark), Larry (Dawn); 12 grandchildren, Brian, Amanda, Jon, David, AJ, Susie, Elle, Jana, Kourtney, Karson, Karter, and Kooper; and 11 great-grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was an athlete, United States Army veteran, engineer, professor, and author. His athletic ability and love of baseball always included a family-favorite story of the time he threw out Mickey Mantle and received an offer to play for the Cincinnati Reds. He enlisted in the Army in 1954. After serving his country, he pursued a degree in engineering. He worked in the aerospace industry during summers while teaching at Mineral Area College. In retirement, John's appetite for reading and passion for writing led him to become an established author. His publications included historical fiction, theory, family history, and poetry.
John loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and working with his bird dogs. John and Mary enjoyed bird watching and shared a love of genealogy, which led to several treasured co-authored books. He avidly attended family events and valued relationships with family and friends over anything else.
Visitation will be held at C.Z. Boyer and Sons Funeral Home, 313 Benham St. in Bonne Terre, Missouri, on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, from 2 p.m. until time of Service at 5 p.m. with Pastor Chuck Lotz officiating. A graveside family and veteran service will take place Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, at 2 p.m. at Union Cemetery in Galena, Kansas. Please send donations, in lieu of flowers, to Mineral Area College/MAC Foundation.
Arrangements are under the direction of C.Z. Boyer and Son Funeral Home in Bonne Terre. View obituary and share condolences online at www.czboyer.com.