GARDEN CITY — James L. Keller, 81, died Jan. 7. Born April 29, 1929, in Seward, he was the son of Charlie and Lucille Keller. He grew up on a farm south of Great Bend. He attended Catholic school in Seward, before graduating from Great Bend High School in 1947. He attended the University of Kansas where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Fraternity. After college, he served as a Corporal in the United States Army and was stationed in Sasebo, Japan, during the Korean War. He was employed at Keller Leopold Abstract and Insurance. He would go on to purchase the business in 1967, and he retired from Keller Leopold in 2003. On Nov. 25, 1954 he married Loretta M. Heiman, of Garden City. She died on Jan. 23, 1991. On May 1, 1999 he married Mariella Owston.
Mr. Keller was a member of the Garden City Jaycees, the Elks Lodge, and a member of the American Legion. He was a 4th degree knight in the Knights of Columbus and served two terms as Grand Knight. He also served as a member of the county planning commission and was actively involved in St. Dominic’s church, including being ordained as a Eucharist minister. He was the cochair on the church committee that oversaw the construction of the current St. Dominic Sanctuary in 1982.
Survivors include his wife, Mariella, of the home; four sons Charles M., Douglas A. and Eric T., all of Garden City, and Timothy J., of Lawrence; and a daughter, Nancy J. Harness of Garden City; two stepchildren, Chris Owston of Garden City and Janelle Davis of Oklahoma City, Okla.; a brother, Marvin Keller of Casper Wyo.; a sister, Janice Becker of Springfield, Mo.; 15 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; five step-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother , Norman Keller.
A vigil and rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m. today at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Garden City. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the church, with the Rev. Wesley Schawe as celebrant. Burial will follow at Valley View Cemetery with military graveside rites conducted by the Garden City area veterans. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at Garnand Funeral Home in Garden City. Memorials are suggested to St. Dominic’s and Emmaus House in care of the funeral home.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Garnand Funeral Home
412 N. 7th St.
Garden City, KS 67846
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Jan. 11,2011