John W. Keller, 85, died Saturday, Aug. 9 , 2008, attended by family and friends at Mt. Carmel West’s Palliative Care Unit in Columbus, Ohio. John was a respected educator, retired US Air Force pilot and pilot instructor, and a life-long Swedenborgian. He was born June 23, 1923, in  Monroe, Louisiana, son of Albert M. and Mayme Harris Keller of Wilmot, Arkansas, his home town. After finishing high school in Wilmot, he attended Urbana Junior College, Urbana, Ohio, for one year, then served in the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1945 as a B-17 pilot and trainer. Returning to Urbana, he completed his two-year studies at Urbana Junior College and moved on to finish his Education Degree at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. John then began his teaching career which spanned 38 years. He remained active as a pilot and instructor, serving in the US Air Force Reserves, flying the C-119 “Flying Boxcar”, based at Clinton County Air Base, Wilmington, Ohio. He interrupted his teaching career in 1959 to take a full-time staff position at the base for nine years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1968. He returned to teaching senior high college prep and honors science and math in the Columbus Public Schools for the next 21 years. He was instrumental in inaugurating the school system’s computer labs for staff and students. He served on the Board of Trustees of Urbana College, later Urbana University, for 30 years, serving the last nine years as the chairman of the board. His youngest daughter, Kristin, graduated during his tenure as Board Chairman continuing a long family tradition: he, his mother and sister had also graduated from Urbana. He was named a Trustee Emeritus of the Urbana board and was later awarded an honorary PhD by Urbana University for his “dedication to education.” In accordance with his Swedenborgian faith, he felt that the sincerest form of worship is a useful life: “the life of religion is to do good.” His life was a demonstration of this. John is preceded in death by his daughter, Margaret “Peggy” (Charlie) Keller White, Long Branch, New Jersey, and survived by his wife of 46 years,20Donna Altman Keller of Columbus, Ohio, sister Alberta Keller Theriault of Walton Hills, Ohio, children, Siebahn Gallagher  (Bernard J. Taylor) and Kristin Keller of Columbus, Ohio, Marti (Tom) Keller Baggs of Jacksonville, Florida, John W. (Bev) Keller of Franklin, Georgia, six grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and other family and friends. Arrangements entrusted to MAEDER QUINT TIBERI, 1068 S. High St., Columbus, Ohio, 43206. Family will receive friends Tuesday evening 5 to 8 and Wednesday morning 10 to 11 followed immediately by services, the Rev. Mr. Richard Tafel officiating. To sign the online register please visit If desired, contributions can be made to Urbana University Foundation, Office of Alumni and Development, 579 College Way, Urbana, OH 43078 or to Mount Carmel Foundation, 793 W. State Street, Columbus, OH 43222.