Joseph Jensen Keeler, 83, of Provo, a special father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, loyal friend, well-known teacher, colleague, and music educator, died Sunday, September 22, 1996, at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo following a sudden illness.
Professor Keeler was born in Provo, Utah, July 3, 1913, a son of Major Joseph and Esther Reese Keeler. He married Virginia Bowles June 26, 1935, in Salt Lake LDS Temple.He received his education at Brigham Young University from kindergarten through his master's degree. J.J. studied organ at BYU, at Salt Lake Tabernacle with Frank Asper and Alexander Schriner, at Chicago Musical College, at Leipzig Conservatory of Music with world-famous Karl Straube, and at Westminster Abbey with Ernest Bullock and Thalben Ball.
He formed the organ department at BYU, and functioned as its head for forty years. He continued to teach until his death. Hundreds of students learned musical performance under his tutelage. He shared his passion for Utah mining history with fellow history lovers. An ardent admirer of Albert Schwietzer, he was instrumental in local fund raising concerts and lectures for the benefit of Schweitzer's Hospital in Lambarene in French Equatorial Africa.
Countless recipients of unsolicited gifts will attest to Professor Keeler's personal love and concern. His example of Christian living is his greatest legacy.
Survivors include his wife, Virginia; his daughters, Kathleen (Floyd) Murphy, Mary Anne (Boyd) Jolley, Marie (Dale) Blanchard, Claudia (Richard) Pickering, Janice (Boyd) Butler; his son, Brent Keeler; 22 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 25, 1996, at 12 noon in the Provo 9th-19th Ward Chapel, 667 North 600 East, Provo. The family will greet friends Tuesday from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Walker Mortuary, 85 East 300 South, Provo, and Wednesday from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. at the ward chapel prior to the services. Burial will be in the Provo City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the J.J. Keeler Organ Scholarship Fund at BYU.
T 9/23 N 9/23