In Memory

Barbara Jane Tankersley (Keck) - Class Of 1961 VIEW PROFILE

Barbara Jane Tankersley (Keck)

Barbara Tankersley Jane Keck

Feb. 7, 1943 - Jan. 30, 2019

CASSOPOLIS, MI - Barb, Babe, Mom, Granny, and Aunt Barb are the names by which friends and family knew Barbara Jane Keck. Barb graduated from South Bend Central in 1961 and enrolled at Indiana University before pausing her studies to start a family and raise her four beloved children. She later returned to Indiana University, completing a degree in mathematics in 1975; her children proudly accompanied her to her graduation ceremony. She went on to a successful career as a systems analyst in the steel and aerospace industries, paving the way for future generations of women and men through leading by example. Fiercely independent and not afraid to do her own thing, she built her dream house on Diamond Lake in Cassopolis, Michigan and spent many happy years there, entertaining family and friends. Her Diamond Lake happy hours are the stuff of legend. 

Her grandchildren enjoyed many happy days at ‘Camp Granny's' after summer camp at Camp Eberhart, a longstanding family tradition. Barb instilled a love of the great outdoors in her children and grandchildren, including taking her own children with her while she was Girls' Camp Director at Camp Eberhart. She sent all four children to Camp Eberhart every summer to while away the hours learning all manner of outdoor skills from sailing to horseback riding, as Barb herself had learned as a girl. 

Barb had many interests and talents beyond her successful career and family. She had a love of swimming and swam competitively as a teenager. She was a proud Central Alum and active in the alumni association. She was an accomplished bridge player, and an avid investor in the stock market. She built her own sea wall, tiled her own kitchen, installed her own sidewalk and created beautiful gardens that were the envy of the lake. She was a skilled seamstress, knit beautiful sweaters, created keepsake needlepoint works and reupholstered her own furniture. She played the violin and enjoyed making music with her friends and family. 

We all miss her very much and we miss her beautiful smile. Barb always said she believed she would go on living in the hearts of her loved ones after she died, and we do cherish and love her in our hearts. 

Barbara was born February 7, 1943 in Indianapolis to the late Sarah Jane (Southworth) and James A. Tankersley, and had lived in Cassopolis since 1988. She is survived by her four children, Adele Reising (Alexander Dale) of New York City, NY, Christopher Reising (Dianna) of Bloomington, IN, Dan Reising (Signe Olson) of Portland, OR, and Tom Reising (Lynn) of Villa Park, IL; nine grandchildren, Nikki, Sam, Willie, Silas, Grace, Connor, Willa, Ethan and Lily; her brothers, Dr. James A. Tankersley (Francie), Daniel S. Tankersley (Kathy), and Stephen W. Tankersley (Suzi); her brother-in-law, Dick Sweterlitsch; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Susan Sweterlitsch, Robert Tankersley and Robert's wife, Sharon.

Celebration of Life Gathering at Camp Eberhart's Outdoor Chapel July 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm, with a reception to follow at Barb's house. Donations to the Camp Eberhart Alumni Association,


Published in South Bend Tribune from June 23 to July 7, 2019

06/23/2019 JFC

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