Lasting Memories

Shakè Keshkekian
Feb. 22, 1934-Nov. 24, 2018
Palo Alto, California

Submitted by Renee Goumas

Our beloved Shaké Keshkekian was born on Feb. 22, 1934 in Khartoum, Sudan. She was the younger Sister of the late Shoushan "Susan" Keshkekian. Shaké studied Faculty of Arts at the University of Khartoum, and then received her Library degree at the School of Librarianship at North-Western Polytechnic, in London. Her career then took her to the Stanford Library here at Stanford University in Palo Alto where she became the head of the History Unit and then promoted to Senior librarian. She worked there for 35 years. She lived in Palo Alto for the past 53 years. She and her sister lived with their Mother Mannig Yacoubian until her passing in 1990. They were devoted members of St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino for many years.

Although Shaké never married she enjoyed and taught many children in her life valuable lessons in life about love and living. She acted as a surrogate grandmother to "her boys" Strat and Max Goumas, as she and Susan loved to refer to them. Renee and Chris Goumas were Shaké and Susan's neighbors for the last 22 years. They took on full care of her and her late sister Susan for the last ten years. Shaké was significant part of their family.

Shaké also met and nurtured five other younger children (with one more due this week) in the Bonwit family who live in Reno, Nevada. They too adopted Shaké and Susan as their surrogate grandmothers.

For the last eight years Shaké had a devoted round the clock doctors, nurses, caregivers Anaseini Siasau, Nia Fine, Bulou Vere "Bea" Robanakadavu, Francisca Siewe, Sukha Kamat, Marta Branistareanu, Carla Neves and countless other angels on earth from 24Hr HomeCare, Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Palo Alto and Nurse Registry in Palo Alto.

Shaké was surrounded by exceptionally extraordinary people who all loved her and will profoundly miss her loving and generous nature. Shaké was the life of the party, always very gregarious, and people loved to be around her. She should have been on the stage as she loved to be dramatic and was a die hard romantic. She loved to dance, sing and recite poetry and was a fantastic storyteller. She was a voracious reader and loved to learn. She even took up Spanish in her later years. She spoke at least four languages. She was fortunate to have traveled all over the world in her younger years. She loved chocolate, even though she was a diabetic. But mostly, she loved deeply and laughed heartily. We all will miss her infectious and fantastic laugh. From colleagues to neighbors to health professionals, no one will ever forget that laugh. Shaké died at Stanford hospital from a heart attack suffered from additional complications from diabetes. Her final resting place will be alongside her sister Susan at Alta Mesa Cemetery in Palo Alto.

Shaké is preceded in death by her parents Kasbar and Mannig Keshkekian, sister Susan Keshkekian, Cousin Rebecca Rindlisbacher. She is survived by her cousins Regina and Husband Christian Schacher, their children Tatjana Buchmann and husband Jerome, and son Roman Noth, Sahag Yacoubian, partner Esther Brand and their children Mika and Mae and her late cousin Rebecca's son, Luca Rindlisbacher, all of whom live in Switzerland.

From Jane Vaden
Dec. 5, 2018

Dear Shake, I will always remember your positive outlook and joyous laughter. You taught me many important life lessons. We shared many good times with mutual friends. Much love, Jane

From Tom Holt
Dec. 4, 2018

My Dear Shake, Your dear Thomas owes so much to you, both personally and professionally. In addition to making sure that I would be the best catalog(u)er I could be, you taught me how to live life large and dramatically (and loud), but with consideration and kindness for others. You were always interested in all of my life and were always so present when we were together. Although tears were sometimes a part of our visits together, I will remember most our shared laughter, and the shared lunches, dinners, tea times, movies and conversation. Although I will miss you so much, I will think of you reunited with your beloved Shoushan, mother and father; and, for me, thunder in the sky will remind me that my dear Shake is getting out of control (in a good way)! Love, your Thomas.

Dec. 4, 2018

I worked with Shake at Stanford, off and on, since 1966. She was a terrific person and had a laugh none of us will ever forget. She is on the left in this picture.

From Renee Goumas
Dec. 4, 2018

Shakélou-You made me laugh, cry, and cry when I laughed! Thank you for loving me and my family as your own as we did you. Your tenacity and lively spirit will carry on in me. I will forever be grateful for your kindness, patience and love. I miss you horribly. Forever in my heart. I know you will keep your promise to watch over Chris and me and of course "your" boys. S'Agapo!