The world has lost an angel. Marilyn E. Keeler (nee Erdman) passed away on May 18, 2022 in Dublin, Ohio at the age of 89. Midge, as she was known, was born in Middletown, Connecticut. She attended the University of Connecticut where she received her nursing degree, and while there, met her soulmate, our father Dr. William Henry Edward Keeler.
In some ways they were an unlikely couple, since Dad was 13 years older than Mom and different religions, which was not well accepted at the time. However, they fell deeply in love and were married July 16, 1954. Mom had eight children (Dad wanted 12 but Mom said eight is enough!), seven in eight years. Dad was a physician with a specialty in Public Health and Preventative Medicine. Since he wanted a dozen children, he never wanted to be in private practice and have to be on call, so he did many other things: group medicine, occupational medicine, research, teaching, etc. Consequently, we moved a lot, living in Arlington, Williamsburg, and Roanoke, VA, North Aurora and Aurora, IL, Milwaukee and Mequon, WI, and Marion, OH. Mom and Dad moved to Granville, OH in 1981, where they lived happily for many years on the corner of E. Broadway and Pearl St. Mom relished motherhood and taught all of us many skills and life lessons. She worked day and night for all of us, baking treats for our school lunches and after school snacks, sewing our clothes, and making matching outfits for Easter and costumes for Halloween.
For example, one rainy day she lined us all up on the dining room floor and taught us to knit, even the boys. The girls and even some of the boys learned to sew, and she taught us how to read a recipe, cook, bake, and write Thank You notes, amongst many other skills. When one of the boys stole candy from the drugstore, he was marched back to the store to confess and apologize to the manager. We always had a chore list on the refrigerator, and all of us were expected to take turns setting or clearing the table, doing the dishes, ironing, vacuuming, dusting, etc. We were taught that any job worth doing was worth doing well.
When #8 was in 4th grade, Mom returned to nursing. She started the Newark Health Care agency in 1983, the first proprietary home health agency in Licking County. She spent over 15 years in home healthcare, including stints with Interim Health and Licking Memorial Hospital, retiring in 1994. She navigated all over Licking County with a paper map and spent many years trudging through the snow with a medical supply pack on her side.
After retirement, Mom volunteered at the Robbins Hunter Museum in Granville. She was responsible for tea parties at the Museum, and thoroughly enjoyed planning the menu, making much of the food, and coordinating decorations and volunteers for each tea.
Mom was most proud of her family. Her greatest love was our father, and her greatest loss was the death of the oldest, Lesli, from breast cancer in 1985. Mom is survived by her seven children – Bill and wife Tammy (Tempe, AZ), Sharon and husband Jack Myers (Winter Park, FL), Holly and husband Neal Amos (Frisco, TX), Pete and wife Wendy (Ypsilanti, MI), Steve (Newark, OH), Greg and wife Angie (Newark, OH), and Andy and wife JJ (Dublin, OH). She also has 14 grandchildren – Thomas and Gregory Lastrapes (Sharon), Josh Amos (Holly), Sarah, Meagan, Petie, Madelyn, and Moe (Pete), Cassi (Steve), Courtland, Foster, Reece, and Griffin (Greg), and Jake (Andy), and 3 great grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank Mom’s neighbors in Reddington Village, Betsy Russell and Barbara Nelson, who visited, brought food, and took care of her garden as her health declined. We would also like to thank the staff of the Danbury Senior Living Center in Columbus, especially Charma, and Cap City Hospice, especially Amanda and Tasha, for their wonderful care in her last months.
Calling hours will be from 2 to 4 P.M. on Sunday, May 22, 2022 with the funeral service held the following day, Monday at 10:00 A.M., both at McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home, 133 S. Prospect St., Granville. Burial next to Dad and Lesli at Maple Grove Cemetery in Granville will immediately follow the service. Family and friends will gather following the burial at the Reddington Village Clubhouse on Taylor Lane. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Robbins Hunter Museum, P.O. Box 183, Granville, OH 43023 or https://robbinshunter.org/give-to-rhm.
Robbins Hunter Museum
P.O. Box 183, Granville OH 43023