Dr. Eric Shane Keck MONTPELIER — Dr. Eric Shane Keck, 52, formerly of Montpelier, Vermont, died suddenly of a heart attack on July 8, 2020, at his home in Northfield, New Hampshire. He is survived by his wife, Beth Wacome Keck; children, Zion Hietpas and husband Logan of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Thunder, Phoebe and Zachri of Northfield; two grandchildren, Lilia and Levi Hietpas; father, Tom Keck of Montpelier; sister, Heidi Diegel and husband Dr. Roger Diegel; nieces and nephews, Lilly, Eliza, Tommy and Toby Diegel of Kalispell, Montana. He was predeceased by his mother, Beverly Keck. Eric was born in Berlin, Vermont, and attended Union Elementary School and Main Street School in Montpelier. As a boy, he loved athletics, playing football, ice hockey, biking and skiing. In eighth grade, he transferred to Burke Mountain Ski Academy. Later, he attended Green Mountain Academy. As his skiing skills developed, Eric became a member of the United States Downhill Ski Team and competed on the World Cup circuit. He left the ski team to attend college, first at Saddleback Junior College in California and then at Columbia University in New York City where he was a defensive tackle and captain of the football team. He remained friends with many of his teammates from both skiing and football. Eric had a way of making all of them feel like they were his best friend. Eric earned a Master's degree in Education from California State University in 1998 and his doctorate from George Fox University in 2006. During his career, he taught special education in California, Idaho and Vermont at U32 High School. After moving from Montpelier, Eric and his family settled in Northfield, New Hampshire, where he eventually became principal of Southwick School in 2017. Through his leadership, a Trout in the Classroom Program was introduced, a greenhouse built, bee hives set up, and a biking program for children was being planned. Eric cared deeply for his students and his community. Seeking other ways to help his community, Dr. Keck, as his students affectionately called him, completed the New Hampshire Police Academy's training program in February of 2019 and was sworn in as a part-time police officer for the town of Tilton. A private celebration of Eric's life was held at the family home, SALT Farm, in Northfield, New Hampshire, on July 18. Family and close friends shared personal stories of Eric and how he lived his life with gusto. On July 19, the Southwick School and local police department held a memorial for the community at the Highland Mountain Bike Park where Eric had enjoyed riding and had encouraged many young people to test their biking skills. Some of them honored Eric in a special ride down the main trail doing jumps, flips and somersaults just as Eric would have. More details about Eric's life are available online at skiracing.com. A memorial fund in Eric's name is being planned to fund youth activities he would have supported. Further details to follow.

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