Dr. Kenneth W. Keller, 78, passed away on January 9, 2022 at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia.
He was born October 29, 1943, in St. Louis, Missouri, and was the son of the late Walter Keller and Helen Firn Keller.
He graduated from Washington University with his BA in history. As a scholarship student he attended Yale University where he graduated in 1971 with his M.Phil. and Ph.D. with a focus on American Colonial History.
On their first date he told his future wife that “the only thing I ever wanted to do was teach American History”; and teach it he did. Dr. Keller taught history for eleven years at Ohio University and Ohio State University and for thirty years at Mary Baldwin College, offering courses in all areas of American History with specialized courses in Women’s History, Lewis and Clark, and History of the American West. He published over forty journal and encyclopedia articles and reviews as well as book chapters and articles focused on western Virginia. He also won a substantial grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a 3-year program for public school teachers in the Shenandoah Valley: “Teaching American History: Decisive Events.” Upon retirement in 2011 he became archivist for the Augusta County Historical Society and served until 2019.
Dr. Keller loved gardening, and he and his wife spent many summers traveling through the American West, visiting tribal reservations and historical sites along the way. Trips also included visits to relatives and friends in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Missouri, and California.
Dr. Keller is survived by his wife of twenty-six years, Dr. Susan Blair Green, and by his stepson, Seth D. Green, as well as by his extended family and friends. He was much loved as a gentle, kind, and generous man who never lost his love of learning. He is deeply mourned and missed by those who knew him best.
A funeral service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, Staunton, at 11 am on Saturday, April 2, 2022. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Church or to the Salvation Army or Red Cross.