Dr. Ralph Alan Keller of Klamath Falls, OR, passed away peacefully on June 22, 2020 at Crystal Terrace Memory Care Center. He was born on October 30, 1930 to Carl & Marie Keller, in Atlantic, Iowa. He lived on the family farm with his brother, Robert, until his college years began. He is survived by his wife of "almost 49 years – this September", namely Joyce M. Keller and his children Dr. Laura Keller & husband, Greg Gum in Pleasanton, CA: Martha McBurney & husband Steve McBurney of Moundsview, MN. After his marriage to Joyce in 1971, he and Joyce were blessed with two sons, Colin Carl Keller, R.N. and, wife Danielle Keller, R.N. of Murietta, CA., and Dr. Alan W. Keller & wife Sherry Keller of Saratoga Springs, UT. These four children blessed Ralph with 21 grandchildren and 1 great grandson. Also surviving Ralph are his brother & wife, Robert & Margaret Keller of Des Moines, IA. and Carol and Wilmer Gile (Joyce's sister) of Del Norte, CO. There are numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins also surviving Ralph, along with many friends throughout the Klamath Basin.
Ralph graduated from Wiota High School as valedictorian of his "large" class of 18 students, while also participating in school sports of basketball and baseball. Leaving his family farm following his high school years, he attended Simpson College in Indianola, IA, majoring in history, where he also was elected class president in his Sr. year. Following these years of schooling, he also attended Garrett Biblical Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago where he received his Bachelor of Divinity, with Distinction, in 1956. He pastored at Kenwood Methodist Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and additional callings at Hartford Methodist Church, in Wisconsin as Sr. Pastor, along with pastoring at both Mt. Horeb and Blue Mound Methodist Churches.
He served his Lord for 14 years as a Methodist Minister and later attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, when he received his PhD in American History. Ralph was offered a full-time teaching position at California State University, Northridge, CA. in 1970, where he taught U. S. History, occasionally a course in English, and also served as a Liberal Studies Advisor.
He met and married Joyce Cupp as they both sang in their Methodist Church choir of Sepulveda, CA. After marriage, they lived in Valencia, CA for 25 years while raising their family. Ralph chose to retire in 1990 and was presented the status of Professor Emeritus at CSUN, during his retirement ceremony. Ralph and Joyce have lived in Klamath Falls since moving here in 1996, and have attended First Presbyterian Church for now over 24 years. Both have participated in the Chancel Choir, while Ralph served as an Elder on the administrative board (Session), was instrumental in co-chairing a visitation team at Sky Lakes Hospital while also serving as Treasurer for the Klamath Falls Habitat for Humanity, along with assisting in the building of several Habitat homes in Keno.
Family burial services were held on June 30, 2020 at Klamath Falls Memorial Park, and now the formal Memorial Service will be held on Saturday morning, August 1, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 601 Pine Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to be set up at Oregon Institute of Technology - a scholarship awarded to the Nursing Department in Memory of Ralph; or to the Memorial Committee at the Presbyterian Church. Donations can be left at or sent to First Presbyterian Church, Attn: Keller Memorial, and the church will see that Ralph's wife, Joyce, receives them for final distribution to both facilities along with other funds that have been received to date by the family.
Dr. Keller was truly a great Christian man and role model for Joyce, his children, grandchildren & his great grandchild, along with his extended family and many friends in Klamath Falls. Ralph is missed greatly! However, we believe he has found release from his many physical restraints here on Earth and now joyfully resides with his Lord in Heaven.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph Alan Keller, please visit our floral store.