Erma D. Keyes, 73, Educator And Athlete

Posted: September 28, 1999

Erma D. Keyes, 73, who spent nearly 35 years as an educator and was a star athlete in college and an amateur golf champion, died of cancer Friday at her home in Exton.

Miss Keyes taught mathematics for varying periods in the Pennsburg area of Montgomery County and at Downingtown High School, where she also helped establish the guidance counselor's office. A family member said she also had taught in Bucks County.

In 1973, Miss Keyes became an administrator for the state-funded Vocational Education Instruction Network at Millersville State College. In that post, she coordinated grants from the state to vocational-technical schools. She remained as administrator until her retirement in 1983.

As a collegian, Miss Keyes lettered in basketball, softball and field hockey for four years at Ursinus College.

In 1974, she was among the original inductees into the college's Hall of Fame.

Golf was her most successful sport. She carried a 4 handicap and won the Pennsylvania state senior women's championship three times.

She dominated the club championship at the Coatesville Country Club, winning the women's title 21 times. She also won numerous local invitational tournaments.

In 1951, Miss Keyes played one summer in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League with Peoria, Ill., and Battle Creek, Mich. She played the outfield and received $140 a month, her family said.

Her other major interest was flying, and for many years she piloted a two-seater aircraft.

Born in Philadelphia, Miss Keyes graduated in 1943 from Tredyffrin/Easttown High School.

She earned a bachelor's degree in education from Ursinus in 1947 and a master's degree in education from Lehigh University in 1961.

She was a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Phoenixville.

She is survived by two brothers, Thomas G. and Ronald S.

A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. today at the Coatesville Country Club, 143 Reservoir Rd., Coatesville. Burial will be private.

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