Council saddened by death of Dennis Keech, whose £1m donation launched appeal to build Luton children's hospice

'The family's private loss is echoed by many in Luton and beyond whose lives Dennis touched with his compassion'

By Steve Sims
Friday, 21st January 2022, 1:16 pm
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 1:18 pm

Luton Council says it, along with many people throughout the town, has been saddened to learn of the death of Dennis Keech OBE.

As reported here yesterday, Keech Hospice Care announced the news that the man whose £1m donation began the charity appeal to build a children's hospice for Luton had died at the age of 90.

Mr Keech was the largest benefactor of the children’s service and made the generous gift in 1997 with his wife Shirley. Keech Cottage Children’s Hospice opened in 2000 and has cared for nearly 1,500 children and their families since that time.

A statement from the Luton Council said: "The hospice which bears his name, benefitted enormously from a generous £1m donation given by Dennis and his wife Shirley in 1997. It is well known to Lutonians and has especially strong memories for the numerous families and friends of children who have been able to draw upon its inspirational care and support through some of the darkest times.

"In addition to his initial contribution, Dennis was a regular source of wisdom and inspiration for the hospice. He brought the energy and enthusiasm that had served him so well in the motor industry to bear on the provision of support for the terminally ill."

Leader of the Council, Hazel Simmons, added: “Our deepest thoughts and sympathy go to Dennis’ wife, Shirley, family and friends. Their private loss is echoed by many in Luton and beyond whose lives Dennis touched with his compassion.

“He was a successful businessman who gave of his plenty to care for so many for whom life seemed bleak and unbearable. Such generosity of spirit is humbling and inspiring to us all.

Dennis and his wife Shirley

“We trust that at this sad time Shirley and the family will take comfort in the enduring legacy of Dennis’ kind-heartedness.”