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James Keckler


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James Keckler Obituary
James Keckler

James Benton Keckler, age 81, of Sioux Falls, SD died on Saturday, August 5, 2017, surrounded by his family.

Jim was born on May 4, 1936 to Gail and Kathryn (Hagel) Keckler in Eagle Butte, SD. He went to school at Ridgeview, SD and Eagle Butte, SD. He graduated from Northern State College in 1959 with a bachelor's degree and received a master's degree in 1962. He earned a Doctorate in Education from the University of South Dakota in 1972.

Jim met Rita Raines at Northern State College in the summer of 1966. They were married in Sioux Falls at Christ the King Church on August 16, 1967.

Jim was an educator for more than 40 years. He began his career teaching in Plankinton, SD. Following his move to Sioux Falls, he worked as a teacher, coach and administrator at Axtell Park Junior High School, Edison Junior High School, Patrick Henry Junior High School and Lincoln Senior High School. Prior to his career in education, Jim also served in the United States Army.

Following his retirement in 1998, Jim continued to enjoy working with young people as a substitute teacher for several more years.

Jim was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, and his long-suffering devotion was finally rewarded by their 2016 World Series victory. Go Cubs!

During his retirement, Jim's available time to watch Cubs games grew. He also enjoyed spending time with his family - especially his grandchildren - and friends. He also kept busy providing princess treatment for his cat, maintaining a large fleet of bird feeders and setting high standards for lawn and yard care.

Throughout his life, Jim demonstrated by example his dedication to working hard and putting family first. He was a devout Catholic and a long-time member of the Church of St. Mary.

Grateful for having shared Jim's life are his loving wife of 50 years, Rita; his daughters Marcy Keckler (Tom Fabbro), Minneapolis, MN, and Lisa Keckler (Geoff Courtney), San Antonio, TX; his sons Scott Keckler (Jennifer Johnson), Springfield, MO and Jeremy (Jolene) Keckler, Sioux Falls, SD; his 11 grandchildren: Julia and Frank Fabbro; Elizabeth, Kathryn, Robert and Margaret Courtney; Adrian, Gabriel, and Nathanuel Keckler; and Collin and Seth Keckler; his brother Bob Keckler, his sister Audrey Traversie, his mother-in-law Roberta Raines and his many nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his father Gail Keckler, his mother Kathryn Hiett, his stepfather Chuck Hiett, his brothers Bill Keckler and Dan Keckler, his sisters Kay Traversie and Donna Claymore, and his father-in-law Robert Raines.

The family requests that memorials in Jim's honor be given to the .

A visitation with family present will be held at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, August 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a short prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass to celebrate Jim's life will be on Thursday, August 10 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sioux Falls, followed by a luncheon. A private family burial will take place at St. Michael's cemetery at a later time.

www.heritagesfsd.com
Published in The Argus Leader from Aug. 8 to Aug. 9, 2017
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