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Obituary: Keeler, Arthur Ernest

Arthur Ernest

December 18, 1926 - October 21, 2012

Art was born to Fred and Mary Keeler in Spokane, WA, where he has been a lifelong resident. His father was a lawyer from Chicago who moved to the West for his health and became a fruit farmer. Mary was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. She was confined to bed with tuberculosis when Art was 11, and died when he was 14. His brother, Fred, was killed three years later in Belgium fighting in WWII.
Art worked on the farm, was active in the Millwood Presbyterian Church, and in his youth wanted to be a medical missionary. He graduated from West Valley High School and then served in the Army. After military service, he graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, majoring in political science and history.
His first employment was an entry level position with Modern Electric Company, where he worked his way up to Water Superintendent and remained until his retirement. Arthur met Elizabeth Updike at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane where they were both active members. Their marriage in 1974 at her Spokane home was witnessed by her three adult children, Susan, Mary and David. Arthur greatly enjoyed his role as stepfather and spent many happy times with his new family.
Arthur loved the outdoors, and many of his hobbies - bicycling, skiing, boating, and photography - he pursued there. He also maintained his academic interests in history, philosophy, and religion throughout his life, through extensive reading, Bible studies, travel, and membership in Sons of the American Revolution. Art was a former member of the Spokane Club.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; her daughters, Susan (Bruce) Ridley and Mary (David) Nielsen; her son, David (Michael Nelson) Updike; her granddaughters, Elisa (Gregg) Ridley Greene, Katherine Ridley, and Elizabeth Nielsen; her grandson, Timothy Nielsen; her great-grandson, Max Greene; a sister, Emily Keeler, and her children, Christopher (Susie) and Kathryn Kime; and her grandchildren, Keeler, Lychelle and Mandalyn Kime. Arthur was a caring and generous husband, stepfather, step-grandfather, brother and uncle. He will be greatly missed!
A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane on Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the Spokane Unitarian Universalist Church or EWU Foundation/HOME program, Eastern Washington University, 207 Monroe Hall, Cheney, WA 99004.