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Harry J Will Funeral Homes

37000 W Six Mile Road, Livonia, MI

OBITUARY

Kenneth P. Keller

May 7, 1951June 20, 2020
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Kenneth Peter Keller, devoted husband and loving father, passed away peacefully surrounded by family in his home in Livonia, Michigan, at the age of sixty-nine on June 20, 2020. Survived by his loving wife Mary Ellen (née Conflitti), the two recently celebrated their forty-seventh wedding anniversary. Neighbors growing up on the same block in Detroit, it was only after Mary Ellen stopped Ken in the middle of the street to ask him to her senior prom that the two began dating. They were married the weekend before one of Ken’s major pharmacy examinations (which, true to form, he passed without difficulty). Ken began a long career as a pharmacist after his graduation from Wayne State University. He started working for St. Mary Hospital in his hometown of Livonia in 1975, becoming the Director of Pharmacy in 1984—a position he held until his retirement in 2014. Although he worked very hard, Ken’s work did not define him. An avid woodworker and a gifted craftsman, Ken spent his days working on home improvement projects (except for plumbing—he hated plumbing) and building furniture for family members. Ken occasionally sold some of his pieces in craft shows; hundreds of families adorn their homes with his handmade wooden Christmas decorations (which Mary Ellen painted) every year. Ken was also fascinated with exploring his family’s roots and became an expert at genealogical research over time. He and Mary Ellen would visit cemeteries in the summer months to catalogue family members’ headstones, and Ken tirelessly chronicled immigration records, marriage licenses, and death certificates. He even traced one line of the family back to the 1200s. But Ken’s real joy in life was his family. When Ken and Mary Ellen were unable to have children of their own, Ken suggested that they adopt. The two became parents in 1979 when Steven was born. Amy followed shortly thereafter in 1983. Like any great dad, Ken taught them to bait a fish hook, ride a bike, jump start a car, hook a bowling ball, and build a magnetic generator (of course). Ken was generous beyond words, and delighted in surprising—but never spoiling—his children with unexpected presents. In September 2019, he was the life of the party at his daughter’s wedding to Jeremiah Posedel, and was looking forward to his son’s upcoming nuptials to Paul Kolc. Although a quiet and reserved man, Ken enjoyed being helpful and making others happy. He once put out a neighbor’s house fire with a single fire extinguisher and would often cover the dinner tab for complete strangers (without telling them, of course—he just wanted to see them smile). He enjoyed German and Polish comfort food, vanilla milk shakes, walking his dog Maggie, and listening to a variety of music—from Glenn Miller to the Beatles. He lived a full life but was taken from his family far too soon. His memory will be a blessing to his wife, children and their spouses, and siblings Helane (Blair), John (Ruth), and James (Anne). Predeceased by his parents John and Eva, and his stepmother Helen, he will be missed by many. The family invites you to celebrate Ken’s life during a viewing at the Harry J. Will Funeral Home in Livonia, Michigan, on Friday, June 26, from 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Given health and safety measures that have been put into place at the funeral home due to the coronavirus, the family is also inviting those who attend the wake to a social-distant-friendly gathering in Ken and Mary Ellen’s backyard (a block away from the funeral home) thereafter. Details will be provided at the funeral home on Friday. Private services for family members will take place on Saturday.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation

    Friday, June 26, 2020

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Private Funeral Service

Memories

Kenneth P. Keller

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JOHN BUKOWSKI

June 26, 2020

My sincerest condolences to Mary Ellen, Steve, Amy, and the entire extended Keller and Conflitti families. Older brother of my good friend Jim, I have good memories of bowling against Ken, Jim, and their Dad, in IHM Men's League at the old Ark West and then at Beech Lanes. Just a nice guy, with that great Keller wit and humor and Mary Ellen right along. I enjoyed meeting him and Mary Ellen as they brought along Ken's stepmom and Mary Ellen's mom, once a year for their tax preparation. The banter out in the waiting room as each took turns sitting with me, was always entertaining. Far too young and I know he will be dearly missed. Eternal Rest Grant Unto Ken and May Perpetual Light Shine Upon him. May he Rest in Peace and the Dear Lord bring consolation to Mary Ellen and Ken's entire family and friends.

Kris Baker

June 26, 2020

Dear Kellers,
I'm so sad to hear of Ken's passing. I look back with fondness at memories of him teaching my brother and Steve how to bowl, and at the years I would see him at work. The world just won't be the same without Ken's classic eye roll/smile combo! I won't be able to visit with you at the funeral home but am keeping the three of you in my thoughts.
Sincerely,
Kristine Baker and Family

Marianne Thomas

June 26, 2020

I was born the day before Ken. Our mothers compared our baby milestones, who walked first, talked first etc. Around grade school age, Ken would say everytime we visited, "it's not fair you're older", "it's not right". I hadn't seen him in quite a while. On my 65th birthday he sent me an email wishing me a happy 65th birthday and "to remember that he would always be a day younger than me". He made me laugh. I recently did a DNA kit from Ancestry.com. The person on their data base with the most DNA in common with me was Ken. A lot of good memories. He could always make me laugh.

Ortensia Mazzola

June 25, 2020

Just take a look into Kens eyes, and his smile. He hired and trained me into the Pharmaceutical field many many years ago. I was 17 years old. Leaving the cafeteria at St. Marys hospital transferring up to the pharmacy. I was 15 years old, when I asked if I could work in the pharmacy. Ross Martin and Ken Keller made an absolute promise to me. Ortensia, when you reach the age of 17 you come upstairs and give us your diploma and you will be our pharmacy technician. Omg ! I couldnt wait to grow up. I grew up. I graduated June 1977. I Walked through those pharmacy doors the day after Graduation. Presented Ken Keller with my diploma. He was so excited to bring me on as a pharmacy technician. That is where my adventure started. What a mentor he was. I wouldve never made it if it wasnt for that kind smile. Many hours training in the IV room.. untill I was perfect . Pharmacy technician is a very very hard job. Thank you Ken.. for your patience. Here it is
.. 2020 Im turning 61 years this year. I have been working as an Inpatient pharmacy technician for 43 years. God Bless you Ken.. with the security of love and spiritual happiness in Heaven. Love to you.. my dear ole Friend. ♥ Ortensia Iadipaolo Mazzola

Sandra Oltersdorf

June 24, 2020

I worked with Ken at St. Mary and he was a true gentleman. He made sure we had everything we needed to do training for Malignant Hyperthermia in the OR. He was always open for questions and was a great help when we did the addition.

teresa Juarez

June 23, 2020

So sorry for your loss. Ken was a nice person and I have a lot of fond memories from working with him for many years. He always spoke so lovingly of his wonderful family. Thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

Katherine Galenski

June 23, 2020

Sorry to hear about Ken's passing, I remember him well, since we both worked at St. Mary Hospital for many years. I remember he always had a smile on his face and a quick "Hello" when he passed you in the hallway. RIP, till we meet again.

Kathleen O'Connor

June 23, 2020

To Ken's family you have my most sincere condolences. I worked with Ken for over nine years at SMMH and really got to know him during the implementation of Genesis. We worked together to discuss the intricacies of pricing policies. He taught me quite a bit and I always looked forward to meeting with him.

Today reading his obituary, my heart broke. Such a sweet guy taken much too soon. All will miss him.

Patricia Tucker

June 23, 2020

Jeremiah and Amy we are so sorry for your loss we send our thoughts and prayers to you and your family may your dad Rest In Peace with the arms of god love your cousins patricia and darin

Dana Satraitis

June 23, 2020

My heart is broken for your family. May you find some peace in celebrating his life. Much love and prayers.

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