More obit­u­ar­ies on Pages B5, B7

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Obituaries -

Wil­liam E. “Wild Bill” Keller has “slipped the surly bonds of Earth and now es the skies on laugh­ter-sil­vered wings.” He de­parted to join the great For­ma­tion in Heaven on Dec. 19, 2017. Bill was born on Nov. 19, 1946 in Ravenna, Ohio. In 1948 he and his par­ents moved to Men­tor where he be­came a life­long ident. He grad­u­ated from Men­tor High School in 1964 and Adrian Col­lege with a B.A. de­gree in His­tory/Po­lit­i­cal ence in 1968. He was com­mis­sioned as a Sec­ond Lieu­tenant in the United States Air Force in 1968. In 1970 Bill com­pleted pi­lot train­ing at Del Rio, Texas and be­came the first Men­tor High School grad­u­ate to be­come an Air Force pi­lot. He served six years as a pi­lot of KC-135 air re­fu­el­ing tankers for the Strate­gic Air Com­mand. In 1974, he was hon­or­ably dis­charged with the rank of cap­tain. Af­ter own­ing his own auto body shop in Rapid City, South Dakota, he re­turned to Men­tor in 1976 and grad­u­ated from Kent State Univer­sity in 1977 with a B.S. gree in Ele­men­tary Ed­u­ca­tion. He taught Grades two through six, pri­mar­ily at Bellflower School for 25 years. Dur­ing this time Bill earned a Mas­ter’s de­gree in Ed­u­ca­tion from Kent State in 1984. He re­tired from teach­ing in 2002.

Liv­ing an in­volved life was Bill’s hobby. He loved build­ing his G scale model train and build­ing model planes. He was quite fond of rid­ing his mo­tor­cy­cle through the back roads of Lake and Geauga Coun­ties. He ap­pre­ci­ated high mance and an­tique cars and was so proud to be a mem­ber of the Lake County Cruis­ers Car Club with his 1957 dusk rose Thun­der­bird. He loved his Cleve­land In­di­ans and Browns teams, but was ex­tremely proud to be a Green Bay Packer owner, hav­ing pur­chased one share that got him a blade of grass at Lam­beau Field.

His pas­sion for his­tory was im­mense, es­pe­cially Civil War his­tory. Bill was an ad­vo­cate in the preser­va­tion of Civil War bat­tle­fields and was fi­nan­cially gen­er­ous in sav­ing th­ese lands. Dur­ing his life­time he vis­ited all 50 states at least twice, in­clud­ing most of the na­tional parks. When asked what was the most im­por­tant event of his life, he’d im­me­di­ately an­swer, marrying my friend and true love, Vir­ginia, be­cause she opened my heart to love again and re­newed my faith in God. They mar­ried on July 25, 1992.

Bill was pre­ceded in death by his lov­ing par­ents Ted R. and Geneva (Mich­ener) Keller.

He is sur­vived by his beloved wife, Vir­ginia, cousin Mark (Mary) Duffy and their chil­dren Me­gan and Mitch (Jen) Duffy; Brother-in-law David (Beth) Bru­da­past; sis­ter-in-law Roberta Bru­da­past nephew, Noah Bru­da­past, and niece Emily da­past.

A sin­cere thank you is ex­tended to all staff at the Cen­ter for Dial­y­sis Care who helped Bill on his jour­ney through the dial­y­sis process for the past ten years and to the Con­tin­u­ous Care Team of the Hos­pice of the Western Re­serve.

A cel­e­bra­tion of Bill’s life will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Satur­day, Jan­uary 20, 2018 at the Brun­ner San­den Deitrick Fu­neral Home & Cre­ma­tion Cen­ter, 8466 Men­tor Ave., tor, OH 44060.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice and time of shar­ing mem­o­ries of Bill will be­gin 6 p.m. Satur­day, the 20th at the fu­neral home to con­clude the cel­e­bra­tion. Pri­vate fam­ily in­urn­ment will be at Ohio Western Re­serve Na­tional Ceme­tery, Rittman, OH at a later date.

In lieu of flow­ers, me­mo­rial con­tri­bu­tions may be made to the Civil War Trust, 1140 Pro­fes­sional Court, Hager­stown, MD 21740 or to Hos­pice of the Western Re­serve, 17876 St. Clair Av­enue, Cleve­land 44110-2602, do­nate on­line at www. hos­

Please of­fer con­do­lences at www.brun­

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