Retired USAF MSgt Arthur L. Keller — “Art” — went on his final deployment on August 27, 2021, with his family by his side.
He was born to Luther and Lorena Keller on November 5, 1946, at Huntingburg.
He graduated from Dubois High School and worked at Jasper Engine Exchange in Jasper until he joined the Air Force in April 1966. The same year in November, he married his high school sweetheart Jane “Janie” Mimlitz and together they began an incredible 54 years.
While on active duty, Art was stationed at Lackland AFB, TX, Keesler AFB, Ms, Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, KI Sawyer AFB, MI, Grissom AFB, In, Lowrey AFB, Co, Ubon RTAFB, Thailand, Hurlburt Fld, FL, Mildenhall RAFB, England, Eglin AFB, Fl, and Elmendorf AFB, Ak, retiring in April 1986. His Air Force duties included Aircraft Radar and Navigation, Aerospace Photographic Systems, Avionics Navigation, and Integrated Avionics. He was the Bed-Down Project Officer for the F-15 A/B/&C ‘s arrival at Elmendorf. During his career, he achieved over 3,500 class hours through 21 courses with the Community College of the Air Force. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and Gallantry Cross, numerous Air Force Commendation medals, Outstanding Unit Awards and Good Conduct Medals.
From 1986-87, he was a Project Foreman for Nondestructive Corrosion Inspection at Prudhoe Bay, Ak. ?
In February 1987, he joined the Air Force Engineering and Technical Service (AFETS) at Elmendorf as a Radar/INS Technician. For the next 21 years, he traveled the world supporting the F-15 mission, retiring in December 2008. In 1989, he was awarded the General Leo Marquez Award for Elmendorf Outstanding Civilian Aircraft Technician. In addition, he received awards for Cope Thunder Support in both 1989 and 1990, Outstanding Performance in 1992 and WSEP Award for Avionics Support at Tyndall AFB in 1994.
?Art was a Life Member of VFW Post 9785 in Eagle River where he volunteered many hours. His special projects included Post Beautification with beautiful flower gardens and baskets, chairing Wreaths Across America and making sure everything worked. He was also a Life Member of AMVETS Post 11 in Wasilla, a member of American Legion Post 15 in Palmer and the Moose Lodge in Palmer. He proudly showed his 1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone and 1901 replica Oldsmobile Buggy with the 49th State Street Rodders and Midnight Sun Car Club. Of special interest to him was the Mat-Su Wall of Honor and he worked to get all eligible included. He enjoyed garage sales and thrift stores, especially meeting friends he came to know at Bishop’s Attic in Palmer, looking for the deal of the day. ?
Art is survived by his wife Jane and son David (Kathrine) of Palmer, daughter, Jennifer (Bradley) Bailey of Eagle River, sisters Diane (Scott) Arnold of Chrisney, In. and Rita (Kenneth) VonEschen of Dubois; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and one sister.
Funeral services were conducted by Pastor Bruce Rowell at 11:00 am September 10, 2021, at 1st Baptist Church in Palmer in the Prayer Garden Art helped maintain. Military rites and interment will be conducted at 2:30 pm at Ft Richardson National Cemetery.
A celebration of Life and Car Show to honor Art will be held at VFW Post 9785 in Eagle River on a later date.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial bequests may be made to Wreaths Across America (wreathsacrossamerica.org) or Hill Church Cemetery Fund, 3120 State Rd 56, Dubois, In. 47527.
Art touched many people in many ways, and he will never be forgotten by anyone who knew him. ?
His family were the most important people in his life, and he spent many hours teaching them everything he thought they should know. He was the best husband, father and grandfather God ever created.
His family said, “Dad would always sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to us. He is now Our sunshine revving that Comet in heaven. We will hold you in our hearts until we can hold you in heaven.” Isaiah 57:1-2.