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Eloise J. Keller, 93 of Reinbeck, passed away on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at The Elms Assisted Living in Reinbeck. A memorial service for Eloise will be held on Friday, October 4th at 10:30 AM at the Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Reinbeck with Rev. Joel Love officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church. Inurnment will follow services at the Reinbeck City Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family, where they will donate to an organization dear to Eloise. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.abelsfuneralhomes.com The Abels Funeral & Cremation Service-French-Hand Chapel is caring for Eloise and her family.
Eloise was born on September 11, 1926 in rural Reinbeck, Iowa, to her parents Clarence R. & Minnie (Schlicht) Ohrt. She was raised in the Gladbrook/Reinbeck area on her family’s farm, attending school as a young child in Gladbrook, and later graduating with the Reinbeck High School class of 1944. During high school, Eloise played on the 6-player basketball team and played clarinet in the high school band. That very summer after graduation, Eloise was united in marriage to Fred William “Bud” Keller Jr. in Waterloo. The couple would later move to the family farm north of Reinbeck in 1947, where they raised their 5 children. In 2008, Eloise moved into town at her residence on Upper Ridge, after the passing of Bud.
Even as a little girl, Eloise and her siblings worked on the family farm where they helped with the milking and helping with all the farm animals so after an almost lifetime of farming, it would come natural for Eloise to continue her daily farm chores, including raising chickens, alongside her husband.
She was a member of the Union Congregational United Church of Christ and was a founding member of the Cedar Valley Polka Club. You could say Eloise did it all! In addition to her farm assistance, she maintained a very functional garden, canning all sorts of fruits and vegetables. She was also a very meticulous seamstress. She sewed and crocheted, but she was known for her many, many afghans she made throughout her life, crocheting one for every one of her grandchildren. Her family was her life. She was a devoted mom and grandma who attended all her children’s and grandchildren’s activities that she could make. Eloise was blessed with a loving family and she will be dearly missed by her loved ones and friends she leaves behind.
Eloise is survived by her 5 children, Dan (Ann) Keller of Rosebud, AR, Gail Clapp of Urbandale, IA, Bruce (Susan) Keller of Morrison, IA, Bink (Karen) Keller of Forest City, IA and Bill (Yvonne) Keller of Dike, IA; 15 grandchildren Brian (Terri) Keller, Sarah (Jake) Smithson, Dennis (Gretta) Clapp, Angie (Chad) Jensen, Kim (Tony) Conklin, Jolene (Kenney) Myers, Kevin Keller, Jason (Michelle) Keller, Patti (Steven) Martens, Laura Keller (Dan Randall), Jennifer (Mark) Jenkins, David (Delaram) Keller, Carrie (Tom) Pontzius, Lindsey (Ramon) Marcia and Josh (Sandy) Keller; 28 great-grandchildren, 8 step-great grandchildren and 8 step-great-great grandchildren; sisters Delane Thede and Betty Petersen of Reinbeck and brother Jim (Susan) Ohrt of Bend, OR; brother-in-law Donald Delamore of Waterloo and sister-in-law Sandy Ohrt of Urbandale. In heaven, she rejoins her parents; husband Bud; great-granddaughter Alex Keller; son-in-law Joe Clapp; sisters Clarice Delamore and Carrol Beebe, and brother Bob Ohrt; brothers-in-law Harry Beebe, Wayne Thede and Alvin Petersen.