Richard Keeler, prolific local letter to the editor writer, dies

Richard Keeler, a valley resident many knew for his humorous letters to the editor that were published for years in The Herald Journal, died Thursday. Keeler was 79. The following is his obituary. Nibley resident Richard Fairbanks Keeler returned to the factory on 10/08/09 hoping for a complete overhaul, but to the relief of his acquaintances, replacement parts were unavailable. He is surely there visiting with the Plant Manager and friends while writing Letters to the Editor of the Heavenly Gazette. His death enabled the manufacturer to perform a careful examination to correct several design flaws in case a new production run is needed. Most folks hope another run like that one won’t be necessary. His death caused his friends great concern. They will not know where to turn now for bad advice. Fortunately, Richard had already given them and everyone else within earshot, more bad advice than they ever needed. It will probably tide them over. Richard was born January 24, 1930 in Provo, Utah to Ralph Budd Keeler and Gertrude Olson Keeler. He spent his early years in Colonial Juarez, Mexico, California and Utah, graduating from Jordan High School in 1948. He served in the US Army 145th Field Artillery Battalion from 1950-52 during the Korean War. Richard married Janice Hamilton in the Manti LDS Temple on July 17, 1952. He graduated from BYU and then attended Ohio State University, receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry. Richard was a research chemist for Veterinary Research Laboratory at Montana State University in Bozeman for four years, at the USDA National Animal Disease Laboratory in Ames, Iowa for four years, and finally at the USDA Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory at USU in Logan, Utah for 24 years. Richard did research on metabolic, infectious and poisonous plant-induced diseases in livestock and other animals, and was the author/coauthor of nearly 300 research papers and books. He loved writing and reading. He believed all ideas and opinions should be judged on their own merit, rather than their source. Richard loved travel and the outdoors. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, and loved traveling the back roads of the United States. He liked people with dirt, grease and cow manure under their fingernails. Richard is survived by his wife Janice and his 5 children, Francesca (Dallas Randall) Jensen of Denver, Adrienne (Rick) Lungman of North Logan, Paul H. (Shannette) Keeler of Plain City, Jolene (Curtis) Jacobs of North Logan, and Maria (Kirk) Hoth of North Logan. He is also survived by eighteen grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, and two brothers; John B. Keeler of Phoenix and Robert B. Keeler of Los Angeles. Richard was an active member of the LDS Church, serving in many capacities. He particularly enjoyed teaching Gospel Doctrine, which he did until he could no longer hear the closing bell or the questions, due to congenital hearing loss that progressed with age. As a young man, Richard was a fine trumpet player, and enjoyed playing in jazz bands in the late 1940’s. He played basketball in high school and one year at BYU, but seldom heard the whistle blow. He watched the house lights to see when the game was over. His own lights have gone out now, and he has gone to the showers in the great beyond. He is awaiting your arrival. Bring a dozen nightcrawlers. He has gone fishing with the Lord. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon on Tuesday at the Nibley Stake Center at 3701 South 450 West in Nibley. Friends may call Monday night from 6 to 8 p.m. at Allen-Hall Mortuary at 34 East Center Street in Logan and Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 at the Nibley Stake Center prior to services. Richard preferred to look upon this as his “hearing” rather than a “viewing” as he would finally be able to enjoy the conversations and reminiscing of his family and friends. Condolences may be sent to the family at As his loved ones, we appreciate the help of medical staff and emergency personnel, and would like to thank neighbors and friends who have supported us at this time. We especially want to express sincere gratitude for a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was a sterling example of integrity, strong moral character, hard work, unending humor, courage in the face of life’s challenges, excellence in his professional pursuits and research, and dedication to his family and to God. We feel honored to be called his. Goodbye for now A. Sid Ophillis, Fare-thee-well good humor-man. It will be hard to get along without you, But we’ll do the best we can.

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