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Pearl C. Keller

February 17, 1925 May 30, 2019
Pearl C. Keller
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Obituary for Pearl C. Keller

Pearl Christensen Keller, a long time resident of Perry, New York, died on May 30, 2019,
surrounded by family members, after a lengthy illness. She was 94.
Pearl was born in Kaleva, Michigan February 17, 1925, the second of four daughters of Chris
Christensen and Ethel Olsen Christensen. In 1936, the family moved to Ithaca, New York, where
Pearl’s father received a PhD at Cornell and, subsequently, to Edinboro College in Pennsylvania,
where he joined the faculty. Pearl earned her RN degree in 1946 from Hamot Hospital in Erie,
Pennsylvania. After Pearl married John Keller on November 28, 1946, the couple moved to Perry
where John became the vocational agriculture teacher at the local high school.
At the age of 38, Pearl received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY
Geneseo. She taught fifth grade at Warsaw Elementary School for 20 years, until her retirement in
1983. For several years, Pearl was a spiritual volunteer at hospital and correctional facilities in
Wyoming and Livingston counties. She attended the First Congregational Church in Perry Center
and, later, the Brick Presbyterian Church in Perry. She taught bible study groups, Sunday school
and vacation bible school.
Pearl and her husband John catered chicken barbeques for over 25 years throughout Wyoming
County, including the Wyoming County Fair. During their retirement years, Pearl and John
traveled widely and were actively engaged in the lives of their grandchildren.
John Keller, Pearl’s husband of more than 60 years, died in 2007. Pearl is also predeceased by
her three sisters: Yvonne Johnson, Gayla Nenonen, and Carolyn Hamilton. In 2010, Pearl moved
from Perry to be near her son and daughter-in-law Chris and Jane Keller in Baldwinsville, New
In addition to Chris and Jane, Pearl is survived by her daughter Patricia Swider in North Carolina,
her son Eric (Janice) in California and five grandchildren — Stacy (Brian) Chizuk in Virginia;
Andrea (Cheyne) Rauber in North Carolina; Gregory (Sarah) Keller in Massachusetts; and
Nathaniel Keller and Samuel Keller, both in California. Pearl is also survived by eight great
grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Pearl will be remembered by her family, friends and students for her optimism, her dedication to
helping others, her commitment to teaching, her faith, her poetry recitations, her baking, and her
sense of humor. Pearl’s life and work inspired all who knew her. Her daily reminder to her family,
“Remember to say something nice to someone today,” were words Pearl lived by.
A service honoring Pearl is scheduled for 10:30 am, Thursday, July 25th at the First
Congregational Church in Perry Center, New York.
Donations may be made to the Brick Presbyterian Church in Perry, the First Congregational Church in
Perry Center or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

To plant a tree in memory of Pearl C. Keller, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





10:30 AM 7/25/2019 10:30:00 AM
First Congregational Church (Perry Center)

7205 Perry Center Road
Perry , NY 14530

First Congregational Church (Perry Center)
7205 Perry Center Road Perry 14530 NY
United States

Cemetery Details


Prospect Hill Cemetery Final Resting Place

Rt 20A
Perry, NY 14530

Rt 20A Perry 14530 NY
United States

Memorial Contribution

First Congregational Church (Perry Center)

7205 Perry Center Road
Perry , NY 14530

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Brick Presbyterian Church

N. Main ST.
Perry, NY 14530

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