In Honor of Gregory C. Keck, PhD

We at the Attachment & Trauma Network were devastated this weekend to hear of the death of Gregory C. Keck, PhD, the founder of  the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, and a leader in the treatment of early trauma.  We plan to honor Dr. Keck with several memorial posts this week.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Keck’s family and friends, and also with the many families he helped.

by:  Nancy Spoolstra

keck2It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Greg Keck. I have some very delightful memories of Greg. My first actual meeting with him was quite memorable!

I was elected to the Board of Directors of ATTACh at the end of their annual October conference in 1999, or perhaps ’98? I just remember that I didn’t have a face-to-face meeting with the entire board at that conference, but I began joining conference calls on a monthly basis in November. Between November and the official board retreat in San Antonio in April, I “met” most of the board members on the phone. I was one of two parents on the board … the rest of the members were clinicians. I was and am hard to intimidate, but being a part of this group of nationally known names in the attachment arena was a tad bit intimidating! At that time other board members included Russ Colburn, Conrad Boeding, Martha Welch, and a host of other well-known clinicians and authors of books about attachment.

I arrived at the hotel in San Antonio the night before, by myself. No one was there to meet or greet me because everyone else already knew everyone else! The next morning I made my way to the conference room, just a little nervous to meet these folks I held in high esteem, not the least of which was Greg Keck, President of the board at that time! I walked into the conference room and Greg was sitting at the head of the table, facing away from me. I immediately saw that he was very casually dressed …. Shorts! He turned around when I approached him and before I could get much of anything out of my mouth, he said, “Oh, NICE TO MEET YOU NANCY! I think it is SO awesome that you are a veterinarian! I think that is so cool!” And on and on he went, immediately putting me at ease. He was an animal lover so I get his appreciation for my education, but I never forgot what a terrific job he did of making me feel like I belonged in that group.

My second favorite memory of Greg also occurred at an ATTACh retreat, only this time we were at Hilton Head. After a day of work, we headed to some street fair or cultural festival that was going on at that time. I paid ZERO attention to where we were going … I just talked to the other board members and walked along like a sheep. The street became very crowded when we arrived at the booths and tables. At one point I looked down just for a moment but when I looked up, none of my companions were anywhere to be seen. I had NO idea where I was and NO idea how to get back to the hotel. I started pushing my way through the crowd for what seemed like an eternity, but guess who I spied first? It was Greg … and the relief that flooded over me was palpable! He didn’t know I had been “lost” but he sure had a big grin on his face when I practically leaped into his arms! He was most definitely a welcome sight for me.

The attachment community has certainly lost a wonderful man and a champion of children and families. He will be greatly missed.