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home : obituaries : obituaries September 14, 2014

3/6/2013 9:34:00 AM
Keehn Landis

Keehn Landis died quietly at his Harbor Springs home on Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Keehn was born on June 17, 1922 and grew up in Glencoe, Illinois. He enlisted in the Airforce right after the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor. As he waited to be called up, he was able to finish all his course work at Princeton University except his senior thesis. In September of 1943 he began flight training at Good Fellow Field in St. Angelo, Texas. He arrived in England on D-Day. He flew P-51s with the 357th Fighter group at Leiston Airfield.

Keehn returned to Princeton, finished his thesis, graduated and became part of the Class of 1948 at Northwestern University Law School. By that time he was married to Winifred Walker. Their first child, Deborah was born just days before he took the Bar Exam. His son, Reed, was born three years later.

Keehn joined Winston, Strawn and Shaw in Chicago. Ben Heineman, of Swiren & Heineman, and Keehn were appointed by Governor Adlai Stevenson as special assistants to the Attorney General on a case involving cigarette tax counterfeiting in Wisconsin and Indiana. He was admitted to the Federal Bar at this time.

Three years later he joined Chapman and Cutler at the urging of a childhood friend and Princeton classmate, Dey Watts. Keehn practiced litigation for the firm for 30 years and became a full partner. He successfully defended MasterCard and Harris Bank in a class-action suit over interest rates charged to customers on the charge card. The case took 10 years, 1972 to 1982, and went to the Supreme Court before it was finally decided.

In June of 1982, Keehn retired to Harbor Springs to participate in his favorite sports, tennis and sailing. He also enjoyed marksmanship shooting and was an active member of the Emmet County Gun Club for many years. He joined the Harbor Springs Kiwanis Club and became their President soon after. He sang with the Harbor Springs Presbyterian Church choir for 25 years. He also was a member of the Northern Michigan Chorale and Little traverse Bay Choral Society. He taught Money and Banking at the graduate level for Lake Superior State University for a year. For several years he worked as Treasurer with Roma Bolline on the plans for additional subsidized senior housing in Harbor Springs. He took a number of art classes at North Central Michigan College. He wrote a number of beautiful poems for his family and dog, and one short philosophical one he submitted to the New Yorker.

Keehn is survived by his wife, Judith, whom he married in 1984 in Glencoe; her four children, Dr Bruce Huck, Mark Huck, Catherine Huck Finch and John Huck. He is also survived by his younger sister, Suzanne Newland of Santa Rosa, California, her children, grandchildren and great grandson. His older sister, Nancy Lucas pre-deceased him. Her children and grandchildren were a very active part of his life. Keehn's two children and his first two wives pre-deceased him.

First Community Bank - Sept. 2014

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