JoAnn O Keller Endowed Scholarship
David R. Keller established the JoAnn O Keller Endowed Scholarship in 2008 to benefit nontraditional female students at Utah Valley University.
JoAnn O. Keller was born on May 30, 1935, in Salt Lake City. She graduated from Granite High School, where she served as student body vice president. She treasured friendships that grew out of activities of those years, such as student government, competitive skiing, and ballet. In the early 1950s, she participated as a dancer at Utah Summer Festivals at the University of Utah. She cherished memories of skiing and dancing with her close friend Bonnie Jo Nelson Merrill. Out of this long friendship came the marriage of two of their children.
At the University of Utah, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. As a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, she served as alumnae president. After graduation, she joined her brother, Tom, in Boston, where she worked as a medical secretary for two and a half years before returning to Utah to teach. After a brief courtship, she proposed to Richard H. Keller, and they were married on July 13, 1961.
JoAnn’s main interests centered on children and education. In 1987 she was awarded a master’s degree in education. She served as a Junior Great Books leader, a literacy volunteer, a member of the board of directors of the Children’s Center at the Marriott Library, and a member of the Salt Lake Junior League. She and her family loved the outdoors and spent numerous vacations exploring the red-rock canyons of southern Utah, trailering throughout the west, and hiking the Wasatch Mountains. Later JoAnn and Dick discovered the joy of walking in England. One of their treasured memories was of a coast-to-coast walk from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. Their love of natural beauty led them to design and build a home in the shadows of the glowing escarpments of Zion National Park. Above all, JoAnn enjoyed her family and diverse circle of friends.
In 2008 JoAnn’s son, David, created the JoAnn O Keller Endowed Scholarship in her memory. David R. Keller worked for many years at Utah Valley University, beginning as an assistant professor and later serving as professor of philosophy, professor of environmental studies, and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics.