Our dear, sweet, and loving mother has passed into the welcoming arms of her husband and throngs of loved ones awaiting her in Heaven.
Gae M. Keller of Preston, Idaho, passed away on Sunday, December 19, 2021. She was born in Preston on August 5, 1932, to Daniel (Dutch) and Vera Bennett Martin. She grew up in Preston and graduated from Preston High School.
Gae was a distinguished woman of many talents. She was gifted with an infectious laugh, natural elegance and grace, and the unique ability to smile at the world and win it over with her charm. She loved to sing, draw, and write. An avid letter writer to friends and family alike, her letters were famous for brightening days and bolstering spirits!
Her real talent and true passion, however, was music. Gae had a beautiful, clear singing voice and was an accomplished pianist, able to play by-ear any music she heard. A favorite of many, she performed in numerous church programs, the Rotary Cantata, and even starred in her own radio program at the KPST radio station in Preston.
On August 5, 1953, she married her sweetheart, Leness. Theirs was a long and enduring love. Mom and Dad were together for more than 60 years and never lost the magic. They courted throughout their marriage, going on dates every Saturday night and more often when the kids were grown. She and Dad loved to travel and accompanied one another on a number of cruises, LDS church history tours in the United States and the Holy Land, and destinations abroad including Mexico, Guatemala, Switzerland, France, England, Greece, Italy, Spain, Egypt, and others.
Gae worked as a “soda jerk,” a department store clerk, and she was a highly successful Avon representative for more than 40 years. Mom didn’t have customers, she had friends.
An active member of the LDS church, Gae cherished her church callings. Her innate musical talents earned her the role of chorister for three different wards, which culminated in decades of service. She enjoyed sharing her love of music, and was always conscientious about choosing just the right song!
Whether gardening, picnicking, or sitting with her sweetheart and kids in the backyard swing, Gae enjoyed being outdoors. As a guide-patrol scout leader, she taught us to light fires, cook tin-foil dinners, and she generally out-hiked and out-worked us all!
Gae also loved to shop and always had the perfect gift on hand for any occasion. She especially loved Christmas! Gae had an exquisite eye for decorating and took exceptional pride in dressing Christmas trees that would put any competition to shame. She wrapped, baked, threw splendid parties, and made certain of “Santa’s” generosity every year, even after her kids were grown.
Gae was a great mother and always supportive. Even during the tough times, she made sure we felt loved. She was dynamic and whimsical, warm and vibrant, and radiant and graceful. She had a playful sense of humor and a gentle spirit. She touched the hearts of everyone lucky enough to know her, many of whom maintained lifelong friendships with her. Mom was close with all her friends, particularly Norrie Hansen, Leona Matthews, and Gail Brown, whose lifelong friendships began in grade school.
Gae relished taking an active role in the lives of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We’ll miss her warmth, the twinkle in her eyes, her infectious smile, and her indomitable spirit.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Vera and Daniel, her husband Leness and her sister SueAnne. Gae is survived by her brother, Allen, and five children: Daniel (Pamela) Keller, Hal (Brenda) Keller, Holly (Steven) Perkins, Tim Keller, and Chalon (Robert Hall) Keller. She is also survived by eighteen grandchildren and thirty six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Monday, Dec. 27, at the Preston 8th Ward Chapel, 213 South 200 East in Preston. Friends may call from 6–7 p.m. on Sunday, December 26, at the church and again from 10:30–11:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 27, also at the church.
Interment will be at the Preston Cemetery. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.webbmortuary.com.