Bette G. Baldwin Keller, 97, of 504 Garden Court, Quincy, died Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 5, 2014) in Bickford Cottage.
She was born on Jan. 14, 1917, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., a daughter of Alexander P. and Mabel Marie Pool Baldwin. She was a granddaughter of Thomas S. Baldwin, showman, aviator and inventor of the first collapsible parachute and various airships.
On Dec. 30, 1953, she married Robert J. Soebbing Jr. in Quincy. They lived throughout the United States while he worked for Caterpillar Inc. He died on June 9, 1986. She married G. Arthur Keller on Feb. 3, 1987. He died on Dec. 26, 1995.
Mrs. Keller attended the Quincy Public Schools and graduated from Quincy High School in 1935. She studied at the University of Miami in Florida on a diving scholarship. She graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, where she was a member of the Tri Delta Sorority. She taught elementary school in her early adult life.
Mrs. Keller was a faithful and longtime member of St. John's Cathedral. She was a major benefactor in the construction of the present facility.
She served several terms on the Vestry, was a long-time member of the Altar Guild and served as the flower chair. She was proud of the needlepoint kneeling cushions at the altar and was also involved in the planning of fellowship events at St. John's.
Mrs. Keller embraced life robustly and remained active throughout her life. Her interests included dance, swimming, diving, bowling and travel, especially to visit friends in Ireland. She was also an avid bridge player.
Mrs. Keller is survived by a stepdaughter, Heidi K. (Michael) Brenner of Knoxville, Tenn.; a stepgrandson, David Lee Van Doorn; a stepgranddaughter, Kristine Ann Keller; and two stepgreat-grandsons, Maurice "Reece" Estrle King IV and Nicholas Arthur Keller, all of Quincy. Also surviving are her sister-in-law, Betty Soebbing Bickhaus of Carlinville; several nieces and nephews; and the extended Soebbing and Keller families.
In addition to her husbands, she was also preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Thomas "Sonny" Baldwin; her stepson, G. Arthur Keller Jr. and his wife, Lillian Paulina "Lil" Keller.
SERVICES: 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. John's Cathedral, 3728 Payson Road, with the Right Rev. Stephen D. Strawn conducting. Mrs. Keller's cremated remains will be entombed in All Souls Chapel and Columbarium in St. John's Cathedral.
VISITATION: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday in the Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.
MEMORIALS: St. John's Anglican Cathedral, Quincy Humane Society or Blessing Hospice.
ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.