Ruth Anderson Keller

Ruth Anderson Keller

Ruth Anderson Keller packed a lot of living, and a lot of love, into her 89 years. She was a wife, mother of five, grandmother of seven, and a dear friend to many.

Ruth was born in Provo, on March 31, 1932 and passed away quietly in her sleep on July 5, 2021. The fourth child of Rachel Holbrook and Robert Clair Anderson, she had four siblings: Reed (who died a few days after he was born), Robert, Jane and William (Bill), who passed away when he was 32. Ruth’s beloved mother, Rachel, passed away when she was 14 years old.

Two years later, her father married Mabel Luke, who became her second, much-loved mother.

Ruth spent her childhood in Manti. She loved the Manti Temple, her family, her friends, going to Fish Lake and playing dolls with her sister.  She loved animals and had a special place in her heart for her dog Sparky and her pet chickens.

Ruth studied piano under LaVar Jenson and became an accomplished pianist; she played regularly in church and often accompanied her husband, Karl when he sang. 

Ruth attended Snow College for two years and went on to graduate from BYU in 1954 with a teaching credential. She taught elementary school for two years and married her good friend, Karl Keller in the Manti Temple on July 27, 1956.  They spent two years in Salt Lake, where Kristen and Michael were born.

The family moved to Minnesota where Karl would earn his Doctorate in English. Chad joined the family in Minnesota. Karl next took a teaching job in upstate New York. Two years later, the family traded snow for sun, and moved to San Diego, where Karl taught at San Diego State.  The family expanded in San Diego, adding James and Matt. Mike and Matt were both born on Ruth’s birthday, March 31, making that a special date for her.

At the family home in La Mesa, nestled in an old avocado grove, Ruth raised her children and supported her husband. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaching primary and often performing music.

She went back to work at a preschool when Matt was three years old. After a few years, she worked in special education for the public schools until she retired at 62.  Ruth loved working with her severely disabled young children, and they brought her much joy. In 1985, Karl died from AIDS. Although Ruth and Karl had separated several years earlier, Ruth cared for Karl through his illness.

In her remaining years, Ruth enjoyed gardening (not housework), music, church, friends, and family. She loved Christmas and the San Diego Padres. She especially enjoyed watching her grandchildren Leah, Anya, Thomas, Connor, Kaitlyn, Amber and Jake grow up.

Ruth’s caring, compassionate, generous, welcoming spirit, and sense of humor will be missed.