Kirtland K. Keeler Jr.

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  • "It was an honor to have met Mr. Keeler through the LEM..."
    - Kimberly Young
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Obituary


KEELER,
Kirtland Kenneth, Jr.

Kirtland Kenneth Keeler passed away on Monday, January 17, 2011, just two months shy of his 92nd birthday. Ken was born March, 29, 1919 in Spokane, WA to Lois and Kirtland Keeler.
He grew up in Spokane and attended Lewis and Clark High School where he learned to play the pipe organ. As a young man, he was employed at the Davenport Hotel as a pageboy, and remained a friend of the Davenport for the rest of his life. While in high school he met the love of his life, Patricia Margaret Tenglund. They were married on September 13, 1941 and raised four children.
Less than two months after they were married, Ken enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in WWII. He was stationed in Cuba and Charleston, SC working with ship convoys across the Atlantic.
After returning from the war, he went to work for The Old National Bank and studied at Gonzaga University, where he helped form the first Naval Reserve unit in Spokane.
When the Korean War broke out Ken was called back to active duty and served on minesweepers in Japan. Upon returning home, he worked in Pasco, WA. Later moving to Longview, WA where he worked for Interstate Tractor and the National Bank of Commerce. Ken was also active in the Naval Reserve unit in Longview. While working for the National Bank of Commerce, Ken was transferred to the Long Beach Peninsula and worked at the Ilwaco branch for several years. He retired from Raymond Federal Savings and Loan, though he remained active in the Naval Reserve and retired as a Senior Chief Yeoman in 1979.
Ken was not idle in retirement. He was active in many organizations, such as PRIDE, Peninsula Art Association, PACE, Adult Education, Friends of the Library, and a local theater group. He and Particia served on the boards of most of these organizations for years. He also stayed busy "whipping up" gourmet meals, gardening, and spending time at the beach. He was an avid artist, winning many juried art shows well into his eighties.
Ken also served as the President of the Ilwaco Chamber of Commerce, the Long Beach Lions Club, and the Peninsula Christian Council of Churches.
Ken was preceded in death by his loving wife, Patricia, his oldest daughter, Karen (Hoffman), his youngest son, Kevin, his grand- daughters, Kelly Ann (Hebert), Kimberly Queen (Post) and a grandson, Mathew Post. He is survived by son, Kenneth, of Sandpoint, ID and daughter, Karol Queen of Charleston, SC, six grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren.
The family asks in lieu of flowers that remembrances be made to St. Peters Espicopal Church, Long Beach WA, 98632 or St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 440 Whilden St., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. Remembrances can also be made to the United States Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 123 Washington, D.C., 20004-2608.
Arrangements handled by Henry Stuhr, Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel.

Published in Spokesman-Review from Jan. 23 to Jan. 24, 2011
bullet Korean War bullet World War II
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