TERESA ANN ST. CROIX KELLER
LAKELAND - Teresa Ann St. Croix Keller, 65, of Lakeland passed peacefully on Friday evening June 26 in Newnan, GA, located near the Cancer Treatment Center of America facility. In her final weeks, the complications due to metastatic breast cancer were insurmountable despite her strong-willed, 39 months battle. She was surrounded by immediate family as she returned to her eternal home.
During the 1980s, if your family was a part of any South Lakeland programs at Lakeland Highlands Youth Soccer, Medulla Youth Baseball at Christina Park, Lakeland Family YMCA, Scott Lake Elementary, or any South Lakeland Women's Bowling Leagues, you probably celebrated a milestone having consumed a slice of one of Teresa's beautifully decorated homemade cakes. If it didn't come from Publix (you might remember the 'Food World Publix') it was probably one of Teresa's cakes.
She was born in Sumter, South Carolina at Shaw Air Force Base in 1954. She was the daughter of James Anthony St. Croix who retired from both the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel, and from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Her mother, Mabel Caroline Summer St. Croix, was a Realtor in Brevard County. She grew up in Wiesbaden, Germany, Alexandria, Virginia, and Cocoa Beach, Florida graduating from Rockledge High School in 1972.
Teresa married her high school sweetheart, Kevin Keller, in 1972 and they remained happily together for more than 48 years. They modeled an everlasting and unconditional love as they raised four children in Lakeland, Florida. She had a love for traveling with her family and experiencing different local culinary cuisines as well as artists from Europe, the Caribbean and regions throughout the United States. She and her husband were cruise enthusiasts who experienced 50 voyages throughout Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Baltic Sea.
Primarily a stay-at-home mom during her children's formative years, she also enjoyed working with adults and children with disabilities, bowling, cake decorating, teaching swim lessons at the Lakeland YMCA as well as volunteering there as a synchronized swim coach, swimming as a masters synchro athlete, cruises with family, discovering unique jewelry at local art shows, and reading on the beach with her best friend, Jill Horak.
Selflessly postponing her formal higher education to raise a family, she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a minor in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Her 'second career' was spent with the Polk County School Board as a teacher with the Department of Juvenile Justice. Prior to her career with the PCSB, she was the Director of Training for the Wheelhouse- placing adults with special needs into jobs and housing.
Teresa's time spent giving and serving others and God involved hours with Special Olympics, SPCA, A Woman's Choice-Pro Life Pregnancy Clinic, First Assembly of God Church, and her children's many sports teams.
Teresa Ann St. Croix Keller is survived by: husband: Kevin Keller, children: Eric Keller, Shawn Keller (Marty Krytus) Cheyenne Geremia (Beau), and Jamie Rogers, grandchildren: Rachel Davis-Keller, Logan Rogers, Jordan Geremia and Martin Keller, siblings: James St. Croix II and Charlene St. Croix.
If Teresa has ever touched your heart and you feel inclined to do something in her memory, please pay it forward with an act of kindness to someone in your neighborhood or community. She would have liked any monetary donations in her memory to be made to a non-profit that assists those with physical and/or mental disabilities, the SPCA, or A Woman's Choice, Pro-Life Ministry located at 1234 East Lime Street, Lakeland, FL 33801 Phone (863) 683-2341. This ministry was particularly important to Teresa. She joyfully served and volunteered during 2018-2019 after her retirement from teaching. https://give.specialolympics.org