Barbara “Jane” Keller, 68, went home to be with her Lord and Savior at 6:10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, at her residence, surrounded by her family following a courageous two year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). She faced this disease with love, grace and dignity.
She was born on Sept. 18, 1943, to Fredrick and Elizabeth Banks Pitthan, and they preceded her in death.
On Aug. 11, 1962, she married the love of her life John A. Keller, and he survives her in Wapakoneta. They were married for 49 years.
She is also survived by her three children, Elizabeth “Beth” (Ross) Kantner of Wapakoneta, Susan (Craig) Niemeyer of Grand Junction, Colo., and Paul (Kate) Keller of Indianapolis, Ind.; five grandchildren, Ryan and Kaitlin Kantner, Tatum and Tristin Niemeyer and Benjamin Keller; a brother, Fred (Dee) Pitthan, of Rockford, Ill.; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jane was a graduate of Wapakoneta High School, Apollo Vocational Licensed Practical Nursing Program and Lima Technical College Registered Nursing Program. During her nursing career, she was the director of nursing at Cridersville Nursing Home for 10 years. She then went on to practice nursing for the Auglaize Family Practice for 18 years. She was a devoted, compassionate and caring nurse.
Jane loved her family, and she was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She loved her Lord Jesus with all her heart, soul and mind and was a member of Shawnee Alliance Church in Lima for 40 years.
She had a servant’s heart and travelled extensively on missions trips to Mali (Africa), Dominican Republic and Guatemala. She enjoyed caring for needy children in orphanages and helping to deliver babies at the Koutiala Hospital in Mali.
She also went to Waveland, Miss., three times to help families with reconstruction from Hurricane Katrina. Jane enjoyed the outdoors and was extremely active.
She loved cooking, gardening, tandem bicycling with her husband, hiking, fishing, having fellowship with her church small group and playing cards with her life-time friends in her card club.
At the age of 50, she took up downhill and cross country skiing. She loved to ski with her family. She was a certified master gardener, a long time volunteer with the Wapakoneta City Schools and a member of the Child Conservation League since 1964.
Services will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Shawnee Alliance Church.
Burial will be in Greenlawn Cemetery in Wapakoneta.
Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Bayliff & Eley Funeral Home, State Route 501, Wapakoneta, and one hour before the service on Saturday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Gideons International, to the Shawnee Alliance Church building fund, to St. Rita’s Hospice or to the ALS Association of Ohio.
Condolences may be expressed at Bayliffandeleyfh.com.