In Loving Memory Of
September 27, 1949 - March 15, 2018
It is with sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our father, Thomas Keller. Thom was born in Provost and raised in Castor, Alberta. He was the middle of eight children. He loved the outdoors and spent much of his childhood fishing and camping. Because of his love for the outdoors he became very involved in the Scout Canada program. Thom worked his way to eventually achieve the highest recognition a scout can receive in the British Commonwealth, the Queen Scout award in 1964. After completing High School Thom left to pursue a post-secondary education. He attended Holy Redeemer College in Edmonton for two years and then transferred to the University of Alberta where he successfully completed his Bachelor of Education degree in 1975. While teaching up north in Spirit River he met his wife Grace. They worked in several different locations for a few years finally settling down in the town of Drumheller. It was in Drumheller where Thom and Grace raised their two children Kirsten and Ryan. Thom was a very hardworking man. His career was very important to him. Not only was he a well-respected high school Biology teacher who exuded passion and creativity in the classroom; he was very involved in the school’s extra curricular activities. He ran the school Ski Club for many years helping to create wonderful memories for all the students that participated. He was also involved as the teacher representative for the student council. Many students still comment that he was the only teacher that made Science and Biology fun. He touched the hearts and minds of so many students and truly loved being a teacher. In addition to his demanding teaching career Thom also operated his own photography business. He kept himself very busy during many evenings and weekends taking family portraits and photographed hundreds of weddings over several decades. His passion and talent for taking exceptional photographs led him to be chosen as the main photographer for several Big Valley Jamborees where he photographed the who’s who in country music; an experience he was very proud of and often reminisced about. Thom also gave back to the local community by serving as a city councillor in Drumheller for 3 consecutive terms (12 years). He was instrumental in bringing to fruition numerous projects that helped to revitalize the city. Despite being so busy with his teaching career, time on council and his photography business he always made time for his family. Thom’s favourite activities were taking his family on winter ski vacations and spending the summers camping and boating out at Shuswap Lake. Thom was an extremely generous man and was always willing to help people. He was also a very wise man and you could reach out to him with any problem. He spent countless hours of his own time helping his students, his friends and his family whenever they needed support, advice, or help with anything. An incredible sense of humour, wisdom, strong work ethic, and passion for life are just some of the many positive traits that exemplified Thom Keller. Thom is survived by his daughter Kirsten (Gerald) Skocdopole, son Ryan (Shelly) Keller, four grandchildren (Thom’s passion and delight) Cassandra, Lauren, Preston and Emma, five siblings, Don (Dianne) Keller, Marlene (George- deceased) Vilcsak, Barbara (Ken-deceased) Keller, Orest (Carol-deceased) Zaharia, Pat (Larry) Wasylik, George (Kim) Keller, Armella (Charles) Gulley, nieces, nephews, beloved cousins, and godchildren, too many to list. Thom was pre-deceased by his wife Grace, his parents George and Marie Keller, brother Ken Keller and sister Carol Zaharia. Thom will be remembered as a well-respected teacher, a wonderful husband and an amazing father and mentor to his two children. He will be missed dearly by both family and friends and remain in our thoughts forever. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Drumheller Society for Recovery (Grace House), Box 1785, Drumheller, Alberta, T0J 0Y0. Prayer Vigil will be held Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7:00 P.M. at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church with Father Fernando Genogaling as celebrant. Courtney-Winter’s Funeral Homes are in care of the arrangements.