Donald Peter Keller, 93, rural Boscobel, died Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Crossing Rivers Health. He had resided at Bluff Haven Living in Prairie du Chien for the past 1 ½ years.
He was born at home in Cazenovia, WI on September 22, 1927, the youngest of nine children born to Henry Simon and Mary Ann (Milfred) Keller. His family moved from farm to farm as he was growing up and eventually settled in Boscobel when he was in 6th grade. He graduated from Boscobel High School in 1945. He continued farming with his father after high school.
Don met LaDema Pollworth on a blind date arranged by his brother while visiting him in Illinois. Long distance was expensive and farming dictated their plans. Don always told her “If the corn wasn’t in by June 15, the wedding was off”. They married on June 17, 1950 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elgin, Illinois. In 1954 they moved to a 400 acre dairy farm on Haney Ridge. They bought the farm in 1961 and that same year Don was named Outstanding Young Farmer of Crawford County. He also received several conservation awards over the years. There were good farming years and tough ones but through continued hard work the “Lazy K”, his young farmers dream, became a corporation in 1977. Don was a member of the ASC advisory board, President of Catholic Knights Insurance Local, involved with the local PMA Board of Directors, the Farmers Union, and sold seed corn for over 20 years. He was also an usher and active member at Immaculate Conception Church for many years.
Don and LaDema were very proud to have raised six children together on their farm and were married for 57 years before her death on June 25, 2007. He was also blessed with 16 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one more expected any day. He raised them all with the mantra: “Work hard and be kind to others.” Over the years he welcomed exchange students from Brazil, Belize, and Germany into his home. He and LaDema were able to do some traveling to visit and maintain ties with these additional children.
Don is survived by daughters, Nancy (Bob) Becker, Lynette (Fred) Reichmann, both of Prairie du Chien, Patti Keller of LaCrosse, Amy (Ed) Doskocil of Gays Mills, and two sons, Timothy Keller and John (Nola) Keller of Boscobel. He is also survived by his special friend and companion, Joanne White of Prairie du Chien, adopted daughter, Kamela Palma, Punta Gorda, Belize, and adopted son Onofre Puppin, Brazil; sister-in-law Elsie Keller of Boscobel; 16 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, good friends and neighbors.
He was preceded in death by wife, LaDema Keller, his parents: Henry and Mary Keller, five brothers: Clement, Norbert, Erwin, Robert and Harry Keller and three sisters: Mary Hutter, Helen Frosch, and Francis Hubl.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, March 11 at 11:00 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church in Boscobel with Father Christopher Padilla officiating. Burial will be in the Boscobel Cemetery immediately following the funeral mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated for Bluff Haven Living Center or Crossing Rivers Hospital. The Kendall Funeral Service in Boscobel is assisting the family. Due to Covid-19 and restrictions those attending are asked to please wear masks and practice social distancing. Online condolences can be sent to www.kendallfuneralservice.com.
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