John Morgan Keller, of Grimes, California, passed away June 4, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anna Mae Keller, and his daughters Debbie Jones (husband Tim), Barbara Reynolds (husband Tom), Katherine Passmore (husband Bob), and Cynthia Houk (husband Dave), 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, a sister Joann Nalley, and brother Allen Lester Keller.
John was an adventurous man of many talents and skills that he used throughout his life. He was born May 23, 1933 in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and graduated from New Castle High School, after which he worked as a heavy equipment operator and as a draftsman for Portersville Stainless working on milk tank design drawings. He moved to California in 1956 to work for United Airlines at the maintenance base in South San Francisco. In 1966 John became his own boss with the purchase of a Shell service station in Redwood City. He partnered with family in the operation of a second station in Redwood City, and in 1972 he moved to Monterey, continuing in the service station business. John then moved to Sonora in 1977 to own and operate the Mountain View Motel. He worked a second job as a welder before moving to Columbia (CA) and working out of his own shop, fixing and fabricating various things and doing a little catering too. In 1994 he moved to Grimes to work as a mechanic for Yerxa farms and also worked in security for SK Foods, before retiring in his 70’s.
John enjoyed camping and boating, owning many boats and teaching many people to water ski. He owned a Piper Tri-Pacer which he enjoyed flying with the Tuolumne County Aeronautical Association, logging many hours flying to destinations in California and Nevada. He also rode motorcycles throughout his life, including a trip at 70 years of age to Pennsylvania and back. He was a member of Lodge of the Craft No. 433 in Pennsylvania and the Stockton (CA) Scottish Rite, the First Presbyterian Church in Colusa and he also was an active member of the Lions Club in Redwood City, Sonora, and Columbia, CA. Throughout his life he enjoyed helping others by fixing and making repairs to just about anything, including cars and houses.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John W. Keller and Helen Keller. A celebration of life will be held at a later date due to COVID-19. Memorial gifts can be made to Shriners Children’s Hospital or Kaiser Hospice Roseville. ■
07/29/2020 • WPR #2020-0865