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Van O. Keeler, aged 85, formerly of Otsego, MI, peacefully passed away on Friday, July 25, 2014. The son of Lloyd & Bertha (Kikendall) Keeler, he was born October 25th, 1928 in Hamlin Township, Eaton County, Michigan.
After graduating from Highland Park High School, he served in the U.S. Army in Japan. In 1952, he married high school sweetheart, Aino Raty. In 1955, he completed Wayne State University’s Medical School. Following internship in Lansing and residency in Lafayette, LA, he opened his medical practice in Otsego in August 1957, where he worked for 24 years. He became a specialist in Family Practice, and mentored many students. Dr. Keeler was a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians, from 1961. From 1980 to 1988, he was the associate director of the Family Practice residency program at MSU’s Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies. He then joined Allegan Medical Center until retirement in 1994. In 1988, he achieved subspecialty certification in geriatrics. He served on the Otsego Board of Education from 1959-1978.
After retirement, Van was a locum tenens physician in many states, including Alaska. He fulfilled a boyhood dream as ship’s physician aboard the World Discoverer, an expedition cruise ship that took him and Aino throughout the Pacific, including the Aleutians, Siberia, French Polynesia, The Cook and Easter Islands, South America, and Antarctica. They traveled to every continent except Africa. In addition to his lifelong study of medicine and compassion for people, Van was also a technology, photography and wildlife buff.
Van is survived by 4 children, 10 grandchildren, two brothers; Charles Keeler of Springport and Robert (Erlene) Keeler of Jackson, sister-in-law Emogene (Ronald) Keeler of Hickory Corners, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife Aino, his parents, sister Carrie, and 6 brothers; Arthur, Roy, Lewis, Forrest, Howard, and Ronald. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Honoring his request, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held Monday, August 18th at 11:00 pm with a luncheon visitation following at Otsego United Methodist Church, 223 E. Allegan St. His final resting place will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation or the charity of your choice.


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7 Condolences

  1. Glenda Langshaw on August 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Helen, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Enjoyed knowing your dad when I worked at Pipp.

  2. Mary Lou Wright-Komornik on August 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Love Lives On
    Those we love remain with us
    for love itself lives on,
    and cherished memories never fade
    because a loved one’s gone.
    Those we love can never be
    more than a thought apart,
    for as long as there is memory,
    they’ll live on in the heart.

  3. Margo & Bob Wright on August 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    It will be the little things
    that you will remember,
    the quiet moments,
    the smiles, the laughter.
    And although it may seem
    hard right now,
    it will be the memories
    of these little things
    that help to push
    away the pain
    and bring the smiles
    back again.


  4. Shelley, Ryan, Katey, Caryn & Gabriel Fuhrman on August 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Please know that we are thinking of you, our thoughts are with you and we send our love. we are all very happy that they were in our lives, and they will be missed but remembered with love and wonderful memories.

  5. Leslie Campbell on August 15, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Helen and Family,
    Please accept my sincere condolences upon the passing of your parents. May you send their spirits aloft on the wings of a paper crane.

  6. Wanda (Fisher) Valler on August 15, 2014 at 10:25 am

    To the children of Dr. and Mrs. Van Keeler

    I am so sorry that I am unable to attend the memorial of your parents. I belong to TOPS (Take Of Pounds Sensibly). I am the treasurer and we meet at 11:30 in Kalamazoo at the Senior Center.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you as Dr. Keeler was our family doctor for many years. Of course I remember each one of you in high school and what a great family your parents raised.

    To each of you God Bless.

  7. Chuck and Naomi Barton on August 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Special Friends,Special Neighbors,and Dr.Van Extra
    Special Doctor. He was there
    for the birth of one of my sons and the passing away of my mother. Rest in peace–a
    very special couple.

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