Obituaries » Robert "Bob" John Keller Jr.
January 15, 1944 - September 8, 2008
Robert “Bob” John Keller, Jr., age 64, of Sweet Home died on Monday, September 8, 2008. He was born in Longview, Washington to parents, Robert J. Keller, Sr., and Roseline H. Keller. He was christened at the Church of Good Shepherd in Berkley, California.
His family moved to Vallejo, California, where Bob spent much of his elementary and all of his teenage years. Following junior college, he went off to explore the mysteries of the education department at San Francisco State University, and then on to his first year of teaching at Concord. It was during his second year of teaching that he met the woman who would be his wife of forty-one years, Judy J. McGowan.
After three years in Concord, they continued their adventures of teaching with a year in Cave Junction, Oregon. Those adventures abruptly changed when Robert was drafted into the Army in 1969. He served as a squad leader and platoon sergeant at AIT; qualified expert with the 1911 A1 pistol and M14 rifle; and qualified sharpshooter with the M16. He then went on to serve as a military policeman in Germany at Rhein Main Air Force Base.
When Robert and Judy returned to the states in 1971, following his honorable discharge from the Army, they settled in Sweet Home, Oregon, and Robert began what would be a long, rewarding, teaching career in the Sweet Home School District. He, at various times in that career, taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades at Liberty, Hawthorne, and Foster Elementary Schools. From his first teaching job to his retirement in 1999, Robert taught almost 800 students.
When not busy with lesson plans and chess clubs, Robert also took time to farm the cherry orchards that Judy’s father and mother passed on to them in 1974, giving up some weekends, spring breaks, and each July to spend time preparing the crops and growing his family along with it.
As important as any work was Robert’s faith. He and his wife raised their family in the Sweet Home Evangelical Church, where they developed life-long friends. He was baptized at the Sweet Home Community Chapel in 2001.
He was an avid reader and storyteller, kept captive for hours by a good novel, or captivating friends, family and even complete strangers with a good yarn about almost anything. Following his retirement, he and his wife travelled extensively in spite of his diagnosis with multiple myeloma in 2002, using every healthy moment to create memories for those he loved. He was an inspiration with his cheerful attitude and fighting spirit.
Robert is survived by his wife, Judy; daughters and their husbands, Heide and Dustin Nichol (Sweet Home, OR), Holly and Gil Vietor (Lake Havasu City, AZ), and Heather and Joel Stockamp (Corvallis, OR); sister, Julie McBride (Vancouver, WA); brother, John Keller (Concrete, WA); and mother, Roseline Keller (Longview, WA), as well as his six grandchildren and eleven nieces and nephews.
He passed away on September 8th, 2008 after a six and a half year battle with cancer. Donations on Robert’s behalf can be made to The Multiple Myeloma Cancer Research Foundation or The Salvation Army.
Viewing will be 4:00-7:00 p.m., Friday, September 12, 2008 at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel. Graveside service will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, September 13, at Liberty Cemetery. Memorial service will be 4:00 p.m., Saturday at Community Chapel outdoor amphitheater in Sweet Home. Casual attire is appropriate.
Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling services.