Richey N. Keller
Richey Norman Keller, 83, of Sabinal died on Aug. 12, 2018, in Humble.
A funeral service will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Central Christian Church in Sabinal. Interment will follow at Sabinal Cemetery.
He was born on July 28, 1935, in San Antonio to Ruth (Kidd) and Arch James Keller.
He lived with his parents in San Antonio. At the age of 4, he spent time in Loyal Valley, with his aunt and uncle, Cora and Reuben Kidd. He told stories of riding a horse to attend the one-room schoolhouse in Loyal Valley. He and his mother later moved to Uvalde, where he attended high school.
He left Uvalde at the age of 17, striking out for Galveston on his Triumph motorcycle. The family says Keller always had a smile when he spoke about the Triumph; he was very proud of it. He worked at the Balinese Room in Galveston, and often spoke of how the gambling equipment would be pulled up into the ceiling if the police were coming. The family says Galveston remained one of his favorite places in the world; he loved the gumbo, shrimp kisses and the adventures the island offers.
He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1954, serving his country on active duty until 1958, followed by a four-year stint in the reserves. He was last stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he met small-town Louisiana girl Callie O’Neal Hadwin, a nursing student at the local Baptist Hospital. They married on July 31, 1957.
On Sept. 11, 1958, the couple had a daughter, Kathleen “Kat” Keller. He was discharged from the Air Force in October 1958 and the family moved to Uvalde, where he attended Southwest Texas Junior College and obtained an associate degree.
On Dec. 14, 1962, a son, Arch James Keller, was born into the family. The family lived on Park Street in Uvalde until 1969, then moved to Sabinal where they purchased 40 acres of land from the Rucker family. They moved a home from Uvalde to Sabinal via truck, and settled in to their new home. The couple enjoyed camping, fishing and sailing, spending many weekends at Canyon Lake and Lake Amistad.
Keller worked for the Smith Company of Uvalde selling agricultural chemicals, fertilizers and etc. In 1978 he won a sales competition and was rewarded with a trip to Hawaii.
For a few years before retirement, he worked as a residential supervisor for the 38th Judicial District Treatment Center in Uvalde.
After retirement, the couple traveled throughout the United States, including two trips to Alaska and Canada. They were in Niagara Falls on Sept. 11, 2011, and though they were unable to contact them, both their children agreed “Dad would never be in New York City.”
Keller’s wife preceded him in death in August 2006. The family says to cope with his loneliness he signed up for square dancing lessons, where he met Mary Fitzsimon from Quihi. The family says the two became the best of friends, traveling, going to dinner, and dancing at Quihi Gun Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Betty Keller; his wife; and his son.
Keller is survived by his sister, Janice Foshee and husband, Harrell, of Robert Lee; brother, Homer Keller and wife, Linda, of Austin; daughter, Kathy Keller-Miller and husband, Mark, of Dayton; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary, www.rekfunerals.com