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Colleagues remember Alzheimer's disease and family advocate Barbara Keyes

The logo for the Alzheimer's Association
The logo for the Alzheimer's Association

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Sixteen priests helped mourners say goodbye to one of Wisconsin's best-known advocates for those with Alzheimer's disease and their families.

82-year-old Barbara Keyes was buried over the weekend, after she died from cancer on June 23rd.

She was the first executive director of the Alzheimer's Association of Southeastern Wisconsin. Keyes and several others started the support group at a time when not a lot of people knew about the effects of Alzheimer's.

Stephanie Stein, who heads the Milwaukee County Department on Aging, called Keyes a "pioneer" in Wisconsin.

She was a nursing student at what's now known as Alverno College in Milwaukee when marriage and family put her career on hold for two decades. Keyes went back to school and earned her nursing degree at age 45.

The current head of the Milwaukee area Alzheimer's Association, Tom Hlavacek, said Keyes began the organization around her kitchen table -- and being a nurse was her motivation.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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