KATHLEEN F. KEELER
Kathleen Faye Keeler, 91, died September 13, 2013, at Friendship Haven, Fort Dodge, Iowa. She was born June 8, 1922, the daughter of Edward and Ovedia Gestie Reece. She attended Springfield Township country school and graduated co-Valedictorian from Ledyard Consolidated High School in Ledyard, Iowa, in 1940. She received her 2-year elementary teacher training certificate from William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She taught elementary education in New Sharon and Audubon, Iowa, before enlisting in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve based in San Francisco, from which she was awarded an honorable discharge in April 1946.She studied classical voice with the Eugene Fulton School of Music in San Francisco, and was a soloist at Fort Mason in California. She married Max Keeler in 1951 and was divorced in 1958. She received both her B.A. in elementary education and her M.A. in special education from San Francisco State College in 1956 and 1961, respectively. After teaching several years in the San Francisco schools, she pursued her Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis in teaching students with special needs. She received her PhD from Colorado State College in Greeley in 1963. She then taught at Moorhead State in Minnesota before returning to California where she spent the next 18 years as a professor of special education at San Jose State University. Kathleen was a dedicated teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students, and maintained contact with many of them even after her retirement in 1983.
Kathleen was known for her sense of humor and positive outlook. She was admired by her many friends not only in California, but also by the families of her siblings and by the Friendship Haven retirement community staff in her final years. She loved art, collecting on her many trips abroad and in the states. Music, especially opera, enriched her entire life, and she loved to enjoy that music with others.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Ovedia Reece of Ledyard, Iowa, and is survived by her siblings, Muriel VerSteeg, Fort Dodge, Iowa; Jack Reece (Darlene), Ledyard, Iowa; James Reece, Burlington, Washington; and Omar Reece, Ames, Iowa, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Graveside services are being planned for inurnment at the Ledyard Highland Home Cemetery at a later date. The Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services are in charge of arrangements.