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Christian G. Keyes, 16

January 23, 2011
  • Christian G. Keyes
Submitted photo

FEB. 17, 1994-JAN. 19, 2011

The heavens shined a little brighter as Christian Gregory Keyes, 16, of Chambersburg, crossed over his final speed bump into the arms of his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, 19 Jan. 2011, at Penn State Hershey Medical Center surrounded by his loving family.

Born Feb. 17, 1994 in Chambersburg, Pa., he was the son of Gregory Russell and Hortencia “Maria” (Reyes) Keyes.

Sharing his infectious smile with everyone he encountered, Christian was passionate about the friends and family in his life. An enthusiastic sports fan, he could be found on the track or shooting hoops with friends. He loved ESPN, cheering his sisters in basketball and soccer, and watching any sport played by Pittsburgh or the University of North Carolina. Christian inherited his obsession of clothes and music from his father and “Unc C.” His enjoyment of music later sparked an interest in DJ-ing. Christian’s favorite artists included Bob Marley, and works by Tim Burton and Tyler Perry. Who would’ve guessed that behind his taste for orange Faygo and pepperoni pizza hid an affinity for the Food Network?

Christian’s zeal for life was a colorful and diverse as he was. His ability to make every person in his presence feel like they were the only one in the room was just one of the many reasons everyone loved him. A member of the United States Achievement Academy for honor students’ Who’s Who, Christian enjoyed school and even as a homebound student, maintained straight A’s.

For the past two years, Christian has battled Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma like a champ, living every day with hope and gratitude. A courageous hero to his family and friends, he was an inspirational young man who wore his faith on his sleeve. Although his journey was laden with obstacles, he responded to each setback as “Just a speed bump” — a phrase the entire community has now come to know. In the last year, Christian had become everyone’s son, brother and friend. He taught us all to love hard, live strong and to always look up.

Christian leaves behind his two sisters, Saige Isabella and Chloe Carmen; his grandmother, Marian R. Mattress; grandfather and stepgrandmother, Russell Victor and June Keyes; aunts and uncles, Craig H “Unc C” Keyes, Generia Tesshea (Mattress) and Paul Adams, and their children, Maximilian Genesis Mattress and Ethan Xavier Adams; Rosa Reyes and her children, Armondo, Lizbeth and Rigoberto; Yolanda Olvera and her children, Rosio, Erik and Gabriela; Jose Raul and Lila Reyes, and their daughter, Viridiana; Silvia and Heactor Vasquez and their children, Ginley, Hector and Vanesa “Viris”; Luisa and Anthony Ogden and their children, Naomi and Arlea; and Rafael Reyes. His extended family includes members of the Marks, Mattress and Lemus families.

He was preceded in death by maternal grandfather and grandmother, Melquiades and Carmen (Abuelita) Reyes, who passed away in October 2002 and March 2001, respectively.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by the Rev. James R. O’Brien at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 320 Philadelphia, Chambersburg, Pa.  

The family will receive friends from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday at Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 333 Falling Spring Road, Chambersburg.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Christian Keyes Foundation, c/o Orrstown Bank, 625 Norland Ave., Chambersburg, PA 17201.

Condolences may be expressed at www.geiselfuneralhome.com.

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