Celebration services for Leon Keller, Jr., 74, West Plains, Missouri, will be at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, December 30, 2012 in the Rose Chapel, Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, West Plains, Missouri, with Brother Freddie Howell officiating.
Leon passed on to heaven at 5:38 p.m., Thursday, December 27, 2012 at the Ozarks Medical Center surrounded by his family. He was born July 18, 1938 in Delta, Illinois the son of the late Leon Keller, Sr. and Ollie Marie Thompson Keller. Leon received his education in the Illinois education system. As a teenager, he won many top honors participating on the swim team in Granite City, Illinois. He was saved at an early age and baptized at the age of 12 at the Church of God and played the trumpet and guitar in churches. The love of God and music was a great part of his life and he played music on the sidewalks in Granite City. Leon worked at an early age riding a bicycle delivering telegrams in Granite City Illinois, helping his parents with his wages. He loved and honored his parents and helped them and highly esteemed his relationship with them. He also worked in the United States Postal Service for six years and the steel mills in Granite City. Leon served as a Private in the United States Army Corps, Military Justice, from October 1961 until June 1967. His family bought a farm near Caulfield, Missouri in 1956 and he lived there off and on until he built a new home in 1977 where he lived until moving to West Plains in 1996. In 1972, he began Keller Auction and Sales and began Keller’s Appliance; he sold and repaired appliances until retiring in 2001.
Leon was married to Sheila Collins Keller and leaves a great legacy of five children and their spouses. he held a special place in his heart for each of his seven grandchildren. They have learned about the most precious gifts of life from him; love for God, love of family, music and a love for his country. After retiring, he loved reading, doing puzzles, watching old movies and playing tetris with his grandchildren. He has passed this passion for life onto his grandchildren. He leaves them to carry the torch of life on. They include Sheila Keller (nearly 37 years of marriage), of the family home; his children, Robin Colbert and husband, Matthew, Caulfield, Missouri, Leon Keller, III and wife, Cynthia, Koshkonong, Missouri Elizabeth Keller Crites and husband, Bryan, Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Philip Keller and wife,Kayla, New Caney, Texas and Danielle Keller, Flint, Michigan; his grandchildren, Rachel and Abby Colbert,Caulfield, Missouri, Reece, Emery and Tessa Keller, Koshkonong, Missouri and Bryce and Braden Crites, Poplar Bluff, Missouri; his brother, Myron Keller, Caulfield, Missouri; his sisters, Mary Ann Clark, Viola, Arkansas, Pat Ehrhart, husband, Duard,Caulfield, Missouri, Martha Mize, Ledbetter, Kentucky and Charlene Giger, Caulfield, Missouri; his sisters-in-law, Judy Harden, husband, Bill, South Fork, Missouri, Ora Fulton, husband, Josh, Granite City, Illinois; brothers-in-law, Harold Collins, wife, Karen,West Plains, Missouri, Robert Collins, wife, Brenda, Centerview, Missouri, Sibley Collins, West Plains, Missouri, Joseph Collins, wife, Laurie, West Plains, Missouri; and numerous nieces and nephews all over the country and in foreign countries; and by a special uncle, Bob Thompson, wife, Louise, Illinois.
He was welcomed into heaven by his Saviour, his parents, Leon and Ollie M. Thompson Keller, Sr., his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Harold Collins and Ora Wheatley, two brothers-in-law, Jerry Mize and Kenneth Collins, a nephews, Harold Hutchins, a niece,Ada Shinohara and many uncles, aunts and cousins.
Visitation will be from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., Saturday, December 29th, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Fowler Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital or Friends of the West Plains Public Library and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. On line condolences may be expressed at robertsondrago.com.