George Milton Keller joined his parents, Emeth and Susie Donop Keller and his brothers Byron, William, and James in God’s heavenly home on March 02, 2010.
He was born May 1,1934, in the north bedroom of the now over 100 year old majestic family home on the "Loma Vista" ranch, 12 miles south of Mason, Texas. George’s heart and soul were deeply embedded in the very dust and dirt of every field and in the valleys, mountains and sparkling water encompassing the Loma Vista.
Being raised on the Keller ranch meant hard work mixed with the serenity and peacefulness of country living. There was no rush— just steady, continuous work, because one could never get it all done. Over the years, the ranch provided a lot of family time and a lot of prayer time. It was there as an adult he escaped, carrying his problems of the day out to God’s country, the place he was closest to God, only to come back to town in the evening whistling.
The Loma Vista provided George with another life. A life remembered as a youngster that to most of us has all but faded and near forgotten, but magically to George, when the ranch gate creaked open and he stepped onto the soil that he loved, the past subconsciously invaded him. It was home! So many old stories and folklore of days gone by have vanished with his passing.
George loved his "James River Cowboys." The "JRCs" are a group of young men who began their quest in high school of reliving the rugged cowboy past by roughing the elements on horseback for long weekends, allowing nature to provide them nourishment and a resting spot for the night, using their saddles to rest their heads upon. The JRC group meets yearly and has since high school, though without some of the original cowboys who are deceased. And the horses…well, they have been replaced by vehicles. The five cowboys remaining will continue to meet, bring out the guitar, sing, reminisce, fish and laugh and remain the close friends they have always been only with yet another cowboy absent.
George left A&M to serve his country and joined the navy. With his time of duty completed George leased some beautiful but rugged land near Vanderpool, Tx. raising goats on what is now known as "Lost Maples State Park." During this time he met an Irish Canadian girl late one stormy night in a restaurant called Earl Abels in San Antonio. That eventful night became his fate as three Canadian RNs hastily ran into the restaurant through the teeming downpour of rain and thunder to discuss their itinerary, a camping journey from Canada to California. George just happened to be innocently paying out at the cashier’s counter when the three girls approached him and his sister, Sue. Inviting them into their dilemma, the three drenched girls asked where they could pitch their tent. Sister Sue asked them to stay at her apartment that evening, and then they pitched their tent in her backyard. God intervened again. Their car, an Austin Healey, in need of repair and with the British Car Co. on strike, the three nurses were forced to stay in San Antonio, find an apartment and worked in the OR at Santa Rosa Hospital. Within the year, Jan’s brother, a priest, was on his way from Canada to San Antonio to perform the marriage ceremony for his sister and future brother-in-law George
A few years passed and the Kellers landed in Mason. Here George began the task of rebuilding Mason Co. Farm Bureau Insurance. It steadily grew through his client’s trust in him and through his hard work. Many friends because of this job have blessed his life. Each year when September hit and hunting season rolled around, George would be as excited as a kid. He loved guiding out at Tim Schmidt’s and his love of the land, beauty of the animals and true gamesmanship ran through his blood. His fellow guides and the comaraderie they all shared is one that cannot be measured nor can the friendships that evolved, through the years.
With the passing years eventually five little Kellers brought sunshine into his life. The George Keller household was filled with joy and laughter and what a time it was! George, in his quiet and never hurried manner was always there as protection and strength and example for the children to model themselves after. He never spoke ill of anyone and never had an enemy. His word was a handshake and true to it he was.
God intervened again gently nudging George with thoughts of becoming a deacon. After a few years of this gentle nudging God directed George on a path which led to Junction on a "Walk to Emmaus." It was there, as he spent time in prayer that the Holy Spirit cemented the finality of this decision. A very big decision! After 3 ½ years of schooling and lectures, and 25,000 miles of driving, in the year 2000 George was ordained a deacon by Bishop Aymond, and so began his ministry of serving the parishioners of St. Joseph Parish. The following years have been filled with yearly retreats, continuing hours for deacons, baptisms, weddings, funerals and other duties in the church. He was a faithful disciple. Reliable~Steady~No fanfare~Available~Strong! That was George.
One last time, God intervenes. A very powerful intervention, if interventions can be so measured. God decided George’s work was complete and it was time for George to share in His Kingdom.
Well done good and faithful servant.
George is survived by: his wife Janet Hayes Keller of Mason, three sons: Michael Keller and wife Juanita of Dallas and children Logan and Mason, Mark Keller and wife Lisa of Kerrville, and children Lauren and Hayden, John Keller and his wife Sherry of Mason and children Tyson and Tristin, and two daughters: Laura Keith and husband Shane of Mason, and children Cameron and Lauren, and Kathryn Ray and husband Chad of San Angelo and children, Keller Ann and George. He is also survived by two sisters, Rosemary Kruckemeyer of Mason and Sue Forestello of San Antonio, 10 nieces and 3 nephews. Charity donations can be made to Mason Nutrition Program (Meals on Wheels) or Mason County Cancer Benefit.
A vigil service celebrating George’s life was held on Thursday evening at St. Joseph Catholic Church. The funeral mass was celebrated on Friday at 10:30 at the church. Interment followed in the Gooch Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Mason Funeral Home