Thursday, July 10, 2008

Charles Wilbur "Cactus" Keller, 81, of Seligman, died July 5, 2008, at St. John's Hospital in Berryville, Ark. He was born to Wilbur Perry Keller and Maude Travis Keller in Saguache County, Colo., on Dec. 9, 1926.

He was raised in Sidney, Iowa, He started a career in rodeo before becoming a rancher. He wrangled on Rawah Ranch in northern Colorado until he married Becky Lou Keller on Sept. 2, 1953, in Denver, Colo. He was called to serve his country during the Korean conflict stationed in El Paso, Texas. He was honorably discharged in 1956 and returned home to Colorado.

He and his wife ranched and farmed at Cactus Patch Ranch from 1961 to 1975. In 1975, they moved to Lyons, Colo., where they lived until 1992 when they moved to Seligman, to spend their retirement years.

Survivors include: one son, Joseph Keller, and his wife, Pat, of Boyceville, Wis.; one grandson, Justin (Jay) Keller, and wife, Karja, of Chetek, Wis.; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Dona and Mike Penfold, of Billings, Mont.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Douglas Keller, and one brother, Rae Keller.

Military Honors conducted by the Missouri National Guard, Juliet Team, of Joplin, will be held on Friday at 4 p.m. at the White Funeral Home in Cassville, with a memorial gathering to be held following services.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Seligman Fire Department, Seligman, MO 65745 or St. John's Hospice, Berryville, Ark.