John Ward Keller, 88, of Richmond, Indiana, passed away at home on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
Born in Richmond on August 16, 1930, John moved to Hollansburg as a teenager and graduated from Hollansburg High School. While there, he met his future wife and the love of his life, Glenda. During high school John was a 4-year letterman and member of the 1947-48 basketball team; legendary for their 24-3 record.
John was drafted into the United States Army in 1952, attended Officer Candidate School was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the infantry, and eventually retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of service. His military commitment included two tours of duty in Vietnam (the 1st as one of the initial 1,000 advisors to enter the country) and one tour of Korea. John’s dedication and skill earned him the distinguished Legion of Merit medal and the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster. As a master parachutist with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, John finished his career with 221 jumps.
In 1978, he joined Lingle Real Estate as business agent for 17 years and retired for the second time in 1995. He was an avid reader of military history and sports, he accumulated quite the library of books, all proudly displayed in his study. John could always be found in stands or in front of the television when his beloved Purdue Boilermakers were in action. During the summer months, John could be found at another of his favorite places, Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee, where for numerous years he enjoyed boating with friends and family, floating, skiing and enjoying home-cooked meals on a houseboat.
John is survived by his wife, Glenda (Ward). John and Glenda’s love affair began at Hollansburg High and the two were married for over 64 years. Sadly, John preceded his brother Bob (Janice) in death by just one day; Bob passed away on Friday, May 31, 2019. John is also survived by his sister Barbara (Les) Fraley; sons Randy (Susan), Mark (Eileen), David (Sandy); eight grandchildren, Bret (Stacey), Danielle (Matt) Trollinger, Mitchell (Shelby), Kevin, Michael, Marilyn, Andrew, and Kendall; and four great-grandchildren, Julia and Natalia Keller, Decker and Anna Trollinger.
He was a member of the First English Lutheran Church, the American Legion Post 65, Richmond Kiwanis, and the former Mayor of Fountain City, Indiana.
John Keller will be missed dearly by friends and family, but to borrow from General George S. Patton, it would be foolish and wrong to mourn the passing of John Keller, rather we should celebrate and thank God that such a man lived.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be sent to Fisher House Foundation, fisherhouse.org , or by mail to 12300 Twinbrook Parkway #410, Rockville, MD 20852. Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. They’re located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, and, in Europe, close to the medical center or hospital it serves.
The family will receive visitors at the Smith – McQuiston & Webster Funeral home in Fountain City from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on Sunday, June 2. Funeral will be held at First English Lutheran Church, 2727 E. Main St. Richmond at 1:00 PM on Monday, June 3. Internment following the funeral at New Madison Green Mound Cemetery.