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Obituaries

  • A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 at Englewood Masonic Lodge.

    A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 at Englewood Masonic Lodge.

Christopher Hendrik Keuker, 75

Dec. 28, 2015

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 at Englewood Masonic Lodge.

A memo­r­ial ser­vice will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 at Engle­wood Masonic Lodge.

Christo­pher Hen­drik Keuker, 75, of Engle­wood, Fla., passed on Dec. 28, 2015.

Christo­pher was born March 7, 1940, in Bom­bay India. His mother held an Amer­i­can pass­port, and his father worked in Indone­sia and at the time held a Dutch pass­port. The fam­ily was in Indone­sia when World War II broke out, and Chris, along with his mother, sis­ter, and two broth­ers, spent the war years in a Japan­ese intern­ment camp while his father was kept in another Japan­ese prison.

After the war, 5-year-old Chris and his fam­ily returned to the states. He grew up in the Bronx, Syra­cuse and Buf­falo, N.Y. In high school, Chris was an hon­ors stu­dent with a gift for math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence. In 1958, he was awarded an appoint­ment to the United States Mil­i­tary at West Point, grad­u­at­ing in 1962 in the top 10 per­cent of his class.

After grad­u­a­tion, Chris com­pleted Air­borne and Ranger train­ing at Fort Ben­ning, Ga., and was then assigned to Panama. In 1966, Chris deployed to Viet­nam with the 4th Infantry Divi­sion and was given com­mand of A Com­pany, 1st Bat­tal­ion, 22nd Infantry. Chris’s unit saw sus­tained and heavy com­bat in Vietnam’s cen­tral high­lands. On March 14, 1967, Chris was severely wounded lead­ing his troops in com­bat. He was awarded the Sil­ver Star for gal­lantry in action, the Bronze Star for brav­ery, and the Pur­ple Heart.

Over a two-year period, Chris was treated for severe wounds in Viet­nam, Japan, and the United States. In 1969 he retired from the Army as a cap­tain with full disability.

Over the years, Chris has main­tained a pos­i­tive atti­tude. He had made known that attend­ing the 50th reunion of his West Point class was a “must-do event.” With the help of his West Point class­mates, Wounded War­riors and Vet­er­ans, fam­ily and friends, Chris and his fam­ily in May 2012 trav­eled to West Point for the reunion with his classmates.

Chris was a life mem­ber of dis­abled Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans. He was also a mem­ber of Punta Gorda Masonic Lodge F&AM #115.

Chris is sur­vived by his wife, Dixie; son Dr. Christo­pher Paul Keuker and daugh­ter in-law Susan Hart– Keuker of Boston, Mass.; daugh­ter Lisa Keuker of Green­wich Conn.; and step­son Robert Sewell of Engle­wood, Fla.; grand­chil­dren Chris­tiana Bar­ile, Nicholas Bar­ile, Lester Tuck, Tyler Tuck; great-grandchild Luna Har­bert; sis­ter Fran­cis Ved­der and brother Oscar Keuker.

Chris will be cre­mated. The fam­ily asks that, in lieu of flow­ers, dona­tions be made to Wounded War­riors of South Florida or Dis­abled Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans. A memo­r­ial ser­vice will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 at Engle­wood Masonic Lodge, 265 Pine St.

Bur­ial will be at West Point at a date to be determined.

Chris, from all who loved and knew you, job “well done,” rest in peace.

Arrange­ments were made with Engle­wood Com­mu­nity Funeral Home, Inc. You may share a mem­ory or express con­do­lences to the fam­ily at www.englewoodfh.com