Leslyn L. Keil, 69, of Palmyra, passed away Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, at her home surrounded by her loved ones. She was the loving wife of Ralph L. Keil, to whom she was married for 47 years.
Born in Bay Village, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late John and Bobette “Bobbi” (Gazley) Gouch.
Leslyn graduated from The Ohio State University and then worked in art museums at Cornell University and Yale University. After moving to central Pennsylvania, she entered nursing school to pursue her passion for caring for children with medical issues. She received her RN from Harrisburg Area Community College and then her BSN from Penn State. While working as a bedside nurse in pediatrics, she became passionate about teaching the next generation of nurses and earned her MSN in nurse education from Penn State. She retired from the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital after more than 25 years. Additionally, she volunteered for a variety of medical activities for underserved populations, including international trips to care for children following heart surgery and at PA Vent Camp, a summer camp for ventilator-dependent children.
Outside of work, Leslyn immersed herself in her family. She was always involved in the many academic, musical, athletic, and theatrical undertakings of her children and grandchildren. She was a magnificent “Grammaw” and loved to help her grandchildren learn and flourish. She particularly enjoyed designing and working with them on artistic projects as well as baking and cooking endeavors. She was a creative seamstress who made Halloween costumes, clothing, and adorable backpacks for her grandchildren. Leslyn was a gentle and caring soul who loved animals as well as people, leading to many adopted and rescued cats, dogs, hamsters, and others becoming part of the family. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
In addition to her husband, Ralph, Leslyn is survived by her three children, Lauren, wife of Hareth Madhoun, Jason Keil, and wife, Christie, and Natalie, wife of Joseph DeSantis; five grandchildren, Tala, Jad, and Zaid Madhoun, and Nora and Autumn DeSantis; and two brothers, John “Buzz” Gouch, and wife, Donna, and Jeff Gouch, and wife, Nancy.
A Celebration of Leslyn’s Life will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Hershey Gardens, 170 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA 17033, from 4-7 p.m. We welcome guests to enjoy the beauty of the gardens beginning at 4 p.m. The celebration service will be held at 5 p.m. Please wear joyful colors to celebrate her vibrant life and spirit.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Leslyn’s honor to your charity of choice.