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Elmer Charles Keller entered his heavenly home on April 5, 2018, where he joined Linda, his beloved daughter. He passed away at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Howard, SD, at the age of 98. Elmer was the most loving husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend and was loved by everyone who knew him. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Watertown. Rev. Steve Anderson will officiate. Music will be provided by Lynn Osthus as organist with Burdell Gauger as soloist. The family is requested to meet at the church by 1:30 p.m. for a family prayer service.
Visitation will be prior to services at the church on Tuesday.
Burial will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Watertown. Military graveside honors will be conducted by Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, and the Military Funeral Honors Team of the SD Army National Guard. Honorary pallbearers will be employees of Edgewood Vista Assisted Living. Active pallbearers will be: Steve Jacobson, Brandon Jacobson, Zachary Jacobson, Weston Gauger, Haven Gauger, Brian Madsen, Alan Keller and Mason Jacobson.
Elmer was born on June 13, 1919, to Charles and Josie (Karpinski) Keller, in Thomas, SD. He was raised on a farm and attended country school in Thomas, SD.
Elmer married Arlene Brower on February 19, 1942, at the First Methodist Church in Watertown, SD. On February 26, 1942, Elmer left for the U.S. Army. His basic training was at Camp Wolters in Texas and Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. He was sent overseas and participated in the South Pacific campaign. During their time in the service, Elmer and Arlene lived in Macon, GA from 1944-1945. Upon his honorable discharge, Elmer and Arlene made their home in Watertown. Elmer worked for Hayes Lucas Lumber for 23 years. He then worked as the head custodian for Watertown Senior High School for 17 years.
The Methodist church was very important to Elmer and he served as a Trustee, ushering and providing communion services. He was also a member of the American Legion for over 70 years. Elmer was also an avid Minnesota Twins fan.
Elmer and Arlene celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary this year. In June of 2012, they entered Edgewood Vista Assisted Living facility in Watertown, where they made their home. The residents at Edgewood became their family. In March of 2018, Elmer and Arlene made their new home at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Howard. Elmer will always be remembered for his quiet demeanor, his humming and his okay sign. He loved to fish, hunt, tend to his rose garden and visit. He will also be remembered for his kind soul and blue eyes. He will be missed.
Elmer is survived by his wife, Arlene, of Howard; his daughters, Raynell (Bill) Lange of Minot, ND, and Mary (Bruce) Davidson of Fargo, ND; one son-in-law, Larry Gauger, Howard, SD; six grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandaughter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Linda Gauger; one great-granddaughter; four brothers; and three sisters.
The family cannot begin to express their appreciation to Edgewood Vista and the Good Samaritan Society nursing home for their wonderful care, concern and compassion for the love of Elmer and his blue eyes.