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William E. Keller


1925 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
William E. Keller Obituary
Keller, William E. "Bill"



William E. "Bill" Keller, a most charitable, incredibly smart, humorous, and generous man, died on Thursday, December 31, 2015. He lived his life fully, spoke his mind, loved his family, and was a treasure to the community. He leaves behind his wife, Barbara Van Arsdale; his children Amber Archer, Ann Hinnen (Mark), Margaret Keller, and Eric Keller; and his grandchildren Scott and Rachel Hinnen. He was preceded in death by his wife Helen S. Keller.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 11, 1925, Bill was active in wrestling and soccer. He went on to graduate from Harvard in 1945, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa and finished work for PhD. in 1948 to go on to a post at the Ohio State University Cryogenic Lab. He arrived in Los Alamos in 1950 joining LASL as a Staff Member in the Low Temperature Physics and Engineering Group. The Group was the first to test a thermonuclear weapon in Eniwetok Atoll. He helped develop a temperature scale for T<4K by using his data. Soon after, he began a study of the flow of Superfluid He4 through very narrow slits. He served as Chair of the National Science Board Panel on Absolute Physical Quantities and was also Chair of the Quantum Fluids Panel of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. These are only a few of his many positions and achievements in science prior to becoming the Assistant "P" Division Leader in 1985 and finally retiring from LANL in 1989.

He had an astute financial mind, a commitment to education, and a determination to better the world through his charitable works and philanthropy. He passed on his passions as well as his wisdom to his children, his associates, and to many colleagues in the non-profit world. In 1993, he joined Larry Wheeler, Bruce Moorhead, and C. Woolcott Henry to form the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico for Excellence in Teaching. He joined the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Community Foundation, served for 15 years, holding several offices, mostly financial, within the organization. He was honored for his outstanding service to the Foundation during the 2006 Pinon Award Ceremony. Most recently, he was a Board Member of the Santa Fe Science Initiative, promoting scientific literacy in the schools of Northern New Mexico. He never just held a seat on a Board; he was active, vested, and provided leadership, not only to the Board members, but to staff and patrons.

Bill loved his garden, traveled the world, enjoyed a round of golf, excelled at stock picking, savored good food, and finished his day with a good single malt. Bill Keller had a rich life, gave back to his community, family and friends, and will missed by many. In lieu of flowers, donations may sent to the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico, The Santa Fe Community Foundation, or to the Santa Fe Science Initiative. A Celebration of Life will be held in mid-February, notification will be placed in this publication.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Jan. 10, 2016
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