Theodore J. KellerThe Boston Red Sox lost a loyal fan on Friday, March 16. Theodore Jacob Keller, 81, Milton, Fla., was “called up” to the big leagues.
The Boston Red Sox lost a loyal fan on Friday, March 16. Theodore Jacob Keller, 81, Milton, Fla., was “called up” to the big leagues.
Ted’s early innings in life began Nov. 21, 1930. Ted was born to John J. Keller and Josephine Keller in Dickinson. Ted was the youngest of five brothers, Pete, George, Bud and Ed, who preceded him in death as well as a grandson, Chad. A younger sister, Anna Marie survives.
Ted graduated from Dickinson High School in 1948. He and “The South-Side Gang” were well known throughout the Queen City. It was the gang that gave Ted the moniker, Gundy Babe. However, Ted fell in love and his gang days were over.
He married Joyce Lamont on Jan. 2, 1952.
The middle innings were busy indeed. Ted enlisted in the U.S. Air Force serving from 1952 to 1954, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. After leaving the Air Force, Ted began his college career. While attending college, he also worked full time at the local Standard station in Dickinson.
Ted attended Eastern College in Billings, Mont. He graduated with honors earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in english and a minor in business administration from Dickinson State College.
He then began teaching eighth grade english at St. Patrick’s Elementary School in Dickinson. Later, he was principal at Richardton High School for a number of years. Many former students would often drop by the Keller house to visit their favorite principal/teacher.
Neighborhood kids loved him, often coming over to sit on the front steps to visit or asking if he could come out and play. Neighborhood fathers often came over to sit on the front steps and visit or ask if he could come out and play. Ted said of all his jobs, he enjoyed teaching the best. He was an educator his entire life, teaching his children and grandchildren throughout their lives.
His final lesson was teaching his kids how to die with dignity. His peaceful end was a fitting tribute. Ted’s philosophy was to make the world a better place. Not the world at large, but the world around you.
He left education to become the personnel director of the North Dakota Highway Department, Dickinson. He then became assistant administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson for many years.
After the seventh-inning stretch, he took his talents to Bismarck, where he worked in administration at Q&R Clinic. When he wasn’t working, he was in the kitchen baking the best caramel rolls on Earth, or in the backyard grilling his famous chicken. His holiday dinners were legend. Unfortunately, there weren’t many leftovers.
Ted’s late innings found him and Joyce in Florida. They resided in Winter Haven surrounded by family and friends in a cozy community filled with happy hours at “The Blue Herron Lounge.” Ted and Joyce took a trip to Boston and Fenway Park for a ballgame, took in two games in the 1987 World Series, a Mediterranean cruise, and numerous trips to visit kids and grandkids.
He leaves behind his loving co-manager of 60 years, Joyce Keller and his starting line-up: Martin and Susan Hamre-Keller of Minneapolis; Ted Keller and Suzanne Lavroushin of Kalispell, Mont.; Tom and Alicia Keller of Milton, Fla.; Jane and Randy Somerville of Stanley, Idaho; Judy and Ralph Fuller of Phoenix; Jean and Kevin Schmidt of Mandan; MaryBeth and Doug LaMont of Chandler, Ariz. He will be missed by his 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He followed his own philosophy and leaves the world a better place.
Burial is 10 a.m. Monday, April 9, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
A celebration of Ted’s life is 11 a.m. at the Mandan Eagles, lunch following.
The family requests any donations be made to Covenant Hospice, 6479 Caroline St., Suite B, Milton, FL, 32570.
Sign the guestbook (2 comments)
Comments posted on this page do not reflect opinions of Forum Communications Company. Forum Communications Company does not endorse and is not responsible for any statement, opinion, advice given or made. All replies are subject to approval and must follow Forum Communications Company guidelines concerning statements of libel, personal attacks or defamation of character. Replies in the "Talk About It" section that criticize a person by name may not be posted, unless that person is openly involved in a public issue. Comments written in all capital letters or bold print will not be considered for inclusion in the forum.