Walter Keck's family hosts 100th memorial birthday

By: Carol Percy, Reporter
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Know & Go:

What:  Walter Keck Memorial

When: 2 p.m., Wednesday

Where:  Main Street, Colfax, across from Luna’s Cafe

Info: 346-8748 (VFW hall)

To many older Colfax residents, Walter Keck was known as “Mr. Colfax.”

The Colfax native, who died in 1993, was involved in local Colfax events as the American Legion post commander for 70-plus years, according to his granddaughter, Misty Soto.

Next Wednesday, 60 of Keck’s relatives will gather on the town’s Main Street to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday — 24 years after Keck’s death.

Soto and her cousin, Nicole Couto, helped organize the memorial event.

“We just wanted to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday,” Soto said.

Family members are traveling from out of state and from other California areas to attend the patriarch’s birthday celebration, according to Soto.

Following a short ceremony on Main Street across from Luna’s Café, family members will serve refreshments at the Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall, 22 Sunset Circle in Colfax. The public is welcome, Soto said.

Keck was born May 3, 1917, and except for a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II, lived in Colfax. One of eight children born to Jacob and Nettie Keck, the family first settled in the Colfax area in the 1880s, according to Keck’s son, Michael Keck who resides in Texas.

“He was a fixture in Colfax, joining in parades, (serving as the) American Legion post commander,” Michael Keck said, “and talking with all the old-timers. ‘Mr. Colfax’ was a nickname friends called him.”

Walter Keck’s jobs included 29 years as a welder for the Southern Pacific Railroad. He was an avid collector of old photographs, which his family donated to the Colfax Historical Society, according to Michael Keck.

Six generations of the Keck family currently live in the Colfax area, Michael Keck said, and members will be at Walter Keck’s 100th birthday commemoration.

“Walter’s family thought it would be a wonderful reason to get family and friends together to celebrate what Walter saw in Colfax,” Michael Keck said.


Carol R. Percy can be reached at or 916-774-7967.