Elizabeth Rose Keller
December 15, 1919 – July 15, 2018
Elizabeth Keller was born on December 15, 1919 to John and Florentine Gutfriend (nee Weinberger) at Krupp, Sk. She was the sixth child in a family of 15 children. Mom grew up on a small farm near Wilkie, Sk. and went to school at Inverallen. Times were tough, as you can imagine growing up during the “Depression.” To add to family hardship the house burnt down during this time. But the family was a strong, cohesive unit, all working together to make ends meet and it was family life that helped our mom learn all the skills she had in her arsenal. After completing her education Mom worked as a domestic for many families in the area. She specialized in child care which served her well for the years to come. It obviously didn’t scare her off from having children of her own! While Mom was on the farm she met the neighbour’s hired hand, Adam Keller. She was smitten, as was he. Dad came over often, supposedly to play cards at the Gutfriend house. In 1939 Dad joined the Army and was stationed in Nanaimo, BC. Our mother was so head over heels for Dad that she followed him out west and again worked as a domestic for a couple of families. After their engagement Dad was sent overseas to England for the war effort and Mom returned to Wilkie and worked at the “Buffalo Lunch” Café (no buffalo on the menu though). She worked for $60/month, room and board and two uniforms. On June 14, 1944 Mom and Dad wed. Dad was stationed at Dundurn at this time and had to ask permission to take a one day leave to get married. Dad went AWOL for the 2nd day. It was Dad who was fashionably late for the wedding - blaming the weather. Mom was punctual as ever. To be closer to Dad, Mom moved to Saskatoon securing a job at Arthur Rose Dry Cleaners downtown. Mom operated a Mangle Clothes press. Pregnant now, Mom had a long walk to get to work every day. On March 16, 1945 our mother had the first of the “Dirty Dozen” children. Dad was discharged from the army on March 22/46 and purchased land in the Pan Muir District near Wilkie, much to mom’s dismay, as she thought that she had married a mechanic not a farmer. Mom's first dream home was a 12 x 12 foot wooden granary. Dad renovated the granary by installing a window! The family of three then moved into a one room 12 x 24 “Kitchen.” As the family grew to 8 children TWO more rooms were added. In 1957 the Keller family moved to a farm 10 miles south of Battleford. A new house was built on the farm in 1961. The family now consisted of 11children, with a 12th child welcomed a year later. Running water, electricity and indoor plumbing, such luxury. Only one bathroom for ALL 14 of us. Mom and Dad moved to Battleford in 1976 to a new 1100 sq. ft. house. Only 3 children were left to move in with them to enjoy the expanse of that. It was here that mom actually had some free time and joined the Battleford Quilters. Mom continued to quilt with this dear group of friends each Wednesday afternoon for 40 years right up until her hospitalization. The Church and this quilters group were Mom’s medicine! Mom’s medicine for us was a shot of schnapps when we were sick. Mom moved to Golden Years Lodge in Battleford in September of 2008 where she lived until she admitted to the hospital on June 4th. It was through the support of many great friends of our Mother’s that she was able to live as independently as she did in her new “Home.” Mom was a self-taught seamstress, making our wedding, bridesmaids and graduation dresses. We would show her a picture and then she would create a beautiful couture gown. Each Grandchild and child enjoys a handmade quilt made with love by Mom. They are truly works of art and keepsakes to be treasured. Mom loved making these quilts as much as she loved all the babies who were honored with this gift. Our mother was a hard working “Saint” in our eyes. None of us could figure out when she actually slept! Up before us all in the morning and in bed after we were all settled and fast asleep. The only time we saw our Mother sit down is when she was sewing or propped up on a stool ironing. Sundays were sacred. The whole family squeezed into the car, and headed to town for 8:30 mass. After mass we feasted on a large family dinner at noon. In the afternoon Mom and dad enjoyed visiting with family and friends which included many lively card games. We thought our mom had magical powers. Like the bible story of the loaves and the fishes, mom could whip up a meal and have it on the table in no time flat. How she could make noodles out of water, flour and salt taste so good was always a mystery to us. (Flour and water was also used for glue.) I am not sure how mom maintained her sanity. When we lived at the farm and came off of the school bus, we would all walk into the house at different times and ask her the same questions: “Where’s Dad?” “What’s for Supper?” as we opened all the lids on the pots on the stove…and if she had her hair in curlers “Where are you going Mom?” She would patiently answer each one of us over and over! Mom had a great sense of humor. There was a light hearted competition over who was her number 1 son. One Christmas the boys were eagerly opening their gifts. Mom laughed when she saw the look on their faces as they realized they all received the same thing, a T-shirt that said “Number 1 Son.” Mom did not play favourites. When reminiscing about mom, the in-laws wanted to ensure we told everyone what a great mother-in-law she was. She never interfered and was always supportive. Mom had strong family values. She was compassionate and kind, was able to stretch a dollar, create something out of nothing and loved everyone equally. She instilled in us a strong work ethic and a great sense of family. She was proud of all of her children often saying “They all have jobs and no one went to jail!” On Sunday July 15th at approximately 6:00 pm our mother took her last breath on this earth. She is in heaven now cooking for Dad and all those strangers he would bring unannounced to the table!
Elizabeth leaves behind to cherish her memory are her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great great grandchild; James (Janice) Keller, Tracy, Tina O’Neill, Kevin, Frank (Anita) Keller, Tammy, Jack (Judi) Keller, Sam, Emily, George (Cathy) Keller, Tom (Darla) Keller, Jamie, Steven, Brian, Lindsay, Anne (Claude) Gobert, Colin, Carlene, Michael Keller, Laurel, Darcy, Devin, Rene, Dean, Theresa Kolberg (Terry Strueby), Ian, Marianne Kirkland (Bob Westwood), Dustin, Bridget, Kathleen (Herb) Taylor, Kelsey, Sarah, David Keller and one sister Ann Way. She was predeceased by her parents John and Florentine Gutfriend, her husband Adam; her sisters Margaret, Rose, Dorothy, Kay, Emilia, Florentine, Barbara, Julia, Emilia. Her brothers Mike, Charlie, Frank, and John, her grandson Trevor Keller and son in law Weldon Kolberg
- Kevin O'Neill
- Dean Keller
- Colin Gobert
- Ian Kolberg
- Steven Keller
- Devin Keller
- Darcy Keller
- Dustin Kirkland
St. Vital Roman Catholic Church
Box 58 , Battleford, Saskatchewan S0M 0E0
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
IN THE CARE OF