James Richard Keller (Jimmy), age 88, of Winchester, Virginia, died Saturday, March 2, 2013 in Blue Ridge Hospice.
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Mr. Keller was born on December 25, 1924 at Mt. Olive, Virginia, the son of the late Carl B. and Eileen Hepner Keller. He grew up in Shenandoah County. His family moved to Winchester and he graduated from Handley High School, Class of 1941.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in February, 1943 and served until discharged in August of 1946. He served as a Staff Sergeant of the Ninth Infantry Division of the 39th Infantry, Second Battalion, Company G, in World War II in the European Theater. He participated in battles/ campaigns in Sicily, at Normandy, in France, Belgium and Germany and was seriously wounded in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest. For his service, Mr. Keller was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
After the war and recovering from his injuries, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia under the G.I. Bill. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1951.
James married Marie Garber on November 10, 1956 in Alexandria, Virginia. He worked in the apple industry for 16 years. In 1967, he became an officer in charge of administration for the Food Stamp Program in the Wytheville, Virginia area. In 1970, he founded The Bargain Corner, a blue jeans and casual clothing store on the Winchester Downtown Mall. He retired in 2005.
Mr. Keller was a member of the Masonic Order and active in the Lions Club of Winchester and Braddock Street United Methodist Church.
Mr. Keller was devoted to his family. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Marie; his daughters, Elizabeth Keller Whitehurst (Wilson) of Richmond, Virginia, Ellen Keller Kinser (Scott), of Cornelius, North Carolina, and Susan Keller Pascocello (Matthew) of Arlington, Virginia; seven grandchildren, William Kinser, Jr., Julie Kinser, Joy Whitehurst, Katie Kinser, Emily Kinser, Claire Pascocello and Alex Pascocello; and one great-grandchild, Hayden Kinser.
A sister, Peggy Keller Lake; and a brother, Carl B. Keller, Jr., preceded him in death.
The family will receive friends on Monday evening, March 4, 2013, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel.
A family graveside service will be conducted at Mount Hebron Cemetery on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 2:00 p.m.
A memorial service will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at Braddock Street United Methodist Church with the Reverend Kirk Nave officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork Street, Suite 405, Winchester, VA 22601; Braddock Street United Methodist Church, 115 Wolfe Street, Winchester, VA 22601; Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, 1240 Lee Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903; or VFW Post 2123, 200 Sulky Drive, Winchester, VA 22602.
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Published in Northern Virginia Daily from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2013
Omps Funeral Home - Amherst Chapel
1600 Amherst Street Winchester, VA 22601