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Jack Keller, a “great, great guy” and founder of Keller Ford, passed away Thursday, April 30, 2015 at Spectrum Health-Butterworth Hospital at the age 88. Jackie Dean Keller was born on August 8, 1926 in Delphos, Kansas to George W. & Lela (LePlant) Keller and was a veteran of World War II, proudly serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Shangri La.

Following the war, he worked for a dairy company until coming to St. Clair Shores in the early 1960’s where he worked as an automobile salesman for Roy O’Brien Ford. In 1966 he moved to Grand Rapids and purchased his first automobile dealership at Jefferson and Cherry — Keller Ford — and remained an active part of the Grand Rapids business community as a Ford dealer since that time. He was well known in the community as the “great, great guy” as a result of advertising campaigns over the years, and he lived his life that way. Jack was a true people person and enjoyed many outdoor activities like sailing, golfing, skiing, horseback riding, traveling and even tae kwon do.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Phyllis Duras.

Surviving are his six children, Paula (Skip) Swanson, Julie (Frank) Pauli, Laura (Mike) Dupey, Emily (Ted) Garneau, Robert (Beverly) Keller, and Jackie Keller; eleven grandchildren, Erin Burden, Shannon VanderLugt, Brett Pauli, Brian Pauli, Jonathan Pauli, Jalyn Phelps, Joshua Dupey, Justin Dupey, Hannah Garneau, Andrew Keller, and Molly Keller; two step grandchildren, Anthony Swanson and Jennifer Helder; ten great grandchildren; and a sister, Corky Kelly of Tacoma, Washington

The family will receive relatives and friends from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, at St. Robert of Newminster Catholic Parish, 6477 Ada Drive S.E., Ada, where the Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 16. Military honors will conclude the ceremonies. Instead of flowers, Jack would have appreciated contributions in his memory to either the American Cancer Society or C-SNIP.


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18 Condolences

  1. Kristine Campbell on May 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Mr Keller was truly a nice and genuine man. Loved working for him at Keller Ford and sharing a coffee at the vending machine on our shared bdayour every year My dad worked for him since I was little and was always treated very well…

  2. Dave & Ann Lewis on May 3, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Our love & prayers are with all the Keller family. We know your lifetime of amazing memories will bring you comfort & peace as you say your earthly goodbye to your dear father, grandfather, great grandfather & friend. We are with you in spirit.
    Dave & Ann & family

  3. Laura Riccobono on May 3, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Paula, Skip, Jackie and family,

    So sorry to hear of the passing of your dad.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  4. Chuck Logie on May 3, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Sincerest condolences from all the members of Thornapple Club on the Grand Condo Association. Jack was truly a “great, great” neighbor and friend to many of us, and we remember him fondly. He was always willing to help out and lend a hand.e

  5. William Gill on May 3, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I know now why Jack and I hit it off so
    well. Three years older than me, we
    both served in the Navy…him in WW11
    and me in Korea. My wife and I wish the
    Keller family peace. He’ll be okay.
    Old sailors never die…they just sail away.

    Bill and Janis Gill

  6. Patricia Lucchese-McCormack on May 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    My prayers are with the family as you morn the loss of Mr. Keller. I will forever remember his wonderful smile, and sparkly blue eyes. I feel blessed to have been a member of his sales staff for many years. Thank you, Mr. Keller, for everything.

  7. George Naughton on May 4, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Best Wishes.

  8. Marta Englund on May 4, 2015 at 2:35 am

    I will never forget your smile, Uncle Jack! I love you to the moon and back!

  9. Jim Hoekzema on May 4, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Jack was my first mentor—i will always remember him as a great friend with sage advice. Blessings to his family

  10. DUKE MACGRAYNE on May 4, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    my deepest sympathies……

  11. Sue DeKubber on May 4, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    So sorry to hear of Mr. Keller’s passing. He was always very kind to me.

  12. Steve Barber on May 5, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Its been 25 years since I last worked at Keller Ford. But, I still have many memories. My sympathy and prayers are for your family. Rest In Peace, Jack.

  13. Marti DeLong on May 5, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Dear Paula, Skip and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your Father. Please know we are thinking of you. Marti & Ron

  14. Gary & Mary Hileman on May 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    The Keller family is in our thoughts and prayers.l

  15. Susan French on May 13, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of Jackie’s passing. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but heard such great things about him from my Aunt Jeanette. Such a great guy will be sorely missed.

  16. Kathy Kalm on May 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I moved to Grand Rapids from the east side of Michigan in 1969 because Jack offered my husband a place to work. Jack and his family have always been so kind. I will always be thankful for the Keller family. I will miss Jack. My prayers to his family

  17. Gary on May 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    God bless the Keller family

  18. Steve & Patty Duras on May 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Jackie, Your Dad was a great inspiration and wonderful Uncle to us here in Wash.State.We have fond memories of his visits to us.Our Prayers are with you all.

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