Gretchen Elizabeth Pendill Keitt, 87, of Fairfax and Springfield, VA, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 14, due to complications of heart and vascular disease.
Gretchen was born in Newburyport, MA, to Claude and Gertrude (Wollaeger) Pendill. She was an alumna of the Baldwin School (’49) and Vassar College (’53). She graduated in the initial class from the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration (’56).
Gretchen held administrative positions at Brown University and Wellesley College before joining the staff of the Dean of Women at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, where she met her husband of 62 years, George Keitt. After they began a family, Gretchen devoted her energies to raising four children well and serving in a wide range of ministries for her local church community. In addition, she also worked part time for the Fairfax County Department of Personnel and the Fairfax County Public Library.
Gretchen’s faith and family were the cornerstones of her life. She was an active member of Church of the Apostles, Fairfax, from 1975 to the time of her passing. She was a beloved member of the worship and prayer teams at Apostles and devoted her time and energy in many other areas, particularly to Women’s Aglow fellowship and as an intercessor with SOMA, praying for those priests & bishops ministering in their conferences. Recently she and George ministered alongside college students as part of a CoA campus church at George Mason University. A strong alto, Gretchen was a founding member of the National Christian Choir in 1984 and sang with them until 1995.
In 2009, Gretchen and George moved to the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, VA. There she was an active member of the Choristers, the Greenspring Players, the Channel 6 TV Studio, the German Fellowship, the Episcopal/Anglican Fellowship, Square Dancers and the Puzzlers.
Gretchen precedes in death her husband George W. Keitt, Jr., and her children Anne K. Spell (David), Elizabeth K. Nowak (Michael), George W. Keitt, III (Sarah), and Edward N. Keitt-Pride (Katie). She leaves 12 grandchildren – Sarah (Spell) Shackleford and Rachel (Spell) Hanna; Joshua, Sean, Matthias, Ben, Deborah, Lydia, and Jessica Nowak; Lucy and Tess Keitt; and Rosalie Keitt-Pride; as well as three great-grandchildren – Micah and Knox Shackleford and Lyla Hanna. She loved her family dearly and was deeply loved in return. She will be sorely missed.
A celebration of life service will be held at Church of the Apostles, 11717 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA on March 14th at 10:30 AM, and a memorial service at the Greenspring Retirement Community on March 25th at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Lamb Center, P.O.Box 1385, Fairfax, VA 22038, and/or Access Pregnancy Center, 5101-D Backlick Rd., Annandale, VA 22003.