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Vernon E. Keller, age 93, of Wallace, SD, passed away on Friday, September 14, 2018, at the Clark Care and Rehabilitation Center, Clark, SD. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Wallace. Pastor Scott Dempster and Pastor Rob Edwards will officiate. Music will be provided by Dorothy Anderson as organist. The family is requested to meet by 10:00 a.m. at the church on Tuesday for a family prayer service.
Visitation will be at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown on Monday from 4-7 p.m. and also prior to the service at the church on Tuesday.
Burial will be at Telemarken Cemetery, rural Wallace, SD. Military graveside honors will be conducted by Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, Frank H. Adams Post #750 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Watertown, and the Funeral Honors Team of the SD Army National Guard. Honorary pallbearers will be Vernon’s nieces and nephews. Active pallbearers will be Vernon’s grandchildren: Stacy Jibben, Sarah Edwards, Ryan Keller, Nicole Wilde, Aaron Keller, Dan Keller, Jesse Keller, David Keller, Luke Keller, Traci Robinson, Brett Hanes, Ashley Keller, Marisa Keller, Whitney Keller, Jaydon Keller and Jacob Keller.
Vernon was born on August 8, 1925, to Edward and Myrtle Ima (Phelps) Keller, in Badger, SD. After graduating from Wallace High School in 1945, Vernon entered the U.S. Army. He served as a paratrooper during WWII. After his honorable discharge on November 30, 1946, he started working for International Harvester at various locations.
On July 29, 1951, Vernon was united in marriage to Carol Garrey in Lake Preston, SD. The couple moved to Wallace in 1952 and purchased the hardware business. He and Carol owned and operated the Hardware Store for 38 years. Vernon also did excavating, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.
He was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Wallace and a member of the VFW and American Legion in Watertown. Vernon served as a volunteer fireman for over 50 years in Wallace. He enjoyed golfing (where he had 2 holes in 1), hiking, hunting, and water skiing, which he did at age 80. Vernon enjoyed traveling, making it to all 50 states and most of Canada. In 2010, Vernon was honored to be on the Honor Flight with his fellow WWII veterans. He and Carol mowed cemeteries for over 25 years. They enjoyed dancing and they spent many years wintering in AZ. He enjoyed playing cards with his buddies, and especially enjoyed spending time at his lake cabin with all of his family.
Vernon is survived by his wife, Carol, of Wallace; his children: Jim (Lori) Keller of Webster, SD, Al (Janice) Keller, and Wayne (Jan) Keller, both of Wallace, SD, Dale Keller of Pelham, AL, Neal (Debra) Keller and Ross (Chris) Keller, both of Wallace, SD; 16 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; one sister, Mavis Fossum of Florence, SD; one sister-in-law, Mary Keller of Wallace, SD; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; 3 great-grandchildren, Caleb, Bennett, and Ezra; one brother, Eudale; and one daughter-in-law, Sue Keller.