OBITUARY: Vivian Eileen Keys
July 21, 2010
Eileen went to be with the Lord on March 19, 2010
Eileen was born in Bernie, Missouri on February 28, 1920. Her parents were James and Nellie Fox. At a young age, her family moved to Centralia, Illinois. There she was raised with her three brothers and three sisters. She worked hard around the house, cooking, cleaning and shopping for groceries. Eileen was also an excellent student at school, getting high marks in her classes. She graduated from Centralia Township High School in 1937.
During the “depression” of the 1930’s, her parents saved enough money to send her to nursing school in Springfield, Ill. There at St. Johns Hospital, she would spend the next four years learning to become a registered Nurse. Working hard to succeed in her classes, she graduated from nursing school in 1941.
While still in school, one day in the cafeteria, she saw a man drawing on the blackboard, pictures of the food to be served that day. That man would become our Father, Earl Patrick Keys. They fell in love and were married in 1941. When World War II began, “Jerry” would go overseas while Eileen stayed at home to take care of their new daughter Patricia Jane. Pamela Jean and Phyllis June would come soon after. They would be known as the “PJ’s”. After the war ended, Eileen continued working at St. Johns Hospital, while Jerry worked for the Sangamo Electric Co.
In 1949, the family moved to Los Angeles, California. There Eileen worked for Culver City Hospital and just a block away Jerry worked as a film technician for “MGM” Studios. In 1952 Eileen gave birth to her first son James Kevin. In 1956 Jon Alan would come along. While a registered nurse at Culver City Hospital, she became the head nurse in the “medical surgical unit”. Later she would become supervisor of the “obstetrical department”. In 1963 she became employed with St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, California. There she would spend the rest of her career delivering babies. Eileen always enjoyed working with the Sisters at St. Johns as she did in Springfield. One day, one of the nuns gave her a “rosary”, which she kept with her always.
Eileen was also active in the “Ven Del Mar” Business and Professional Womens Club. She was there for many years, and became President for two terms. She would also receive many awards and made many friends. She liked to travel and visited such places as Hawaii, Mexico, and New England. In her spare time she would knit us sweaters. Other hobbies included doing crossword puzzles and listening to Frank Sinatra. One of her most prized possessions was a personally autographed picture of Frank Sinatra.
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When she retired in 1985, she helper her sons buy a home here in South Lake Tahoe. Eileen would come and visit often. She enjoyed going out to dinner and seeing shows. It was a great thrill for her to sit next to the stage and hear Tony Bennett sing her favorite songs. In 2009 Eileen moved to Lake Tahoe to be with her sons.
Eileen was predeceased by her parents, husband Jerry, and her brothers and sisters. She is survived by her daughters, Patricia Snyder of Palm Desert, CA, Pamela Broad (Tom) of Chatsworth, CA and Phyllis Keys of Northridge, CA. She is survived by her sons James Keys, Jon Keys, and her grandson Justin Keys of South Lake Tahoe, CA. She also has eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren in Southern California. Our family will miss her always. We love you Mother.
Patty, Pam, Phyllis, Jimmy, and Jon
Memorial Service to be held at Hope Lutheran Church on Saturday June 26, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. 930 Julie Lane, South Lake Tahoe, CA.