Date of death: 3/18/2017
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1946
KELLER Father Theodore Anthony, 93, died March 18, at St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington, following an extended illness. With 70 years in ministry, he was the diocese’s longest ordained priest. Visitation will be at St. Peter Church, downtown Lexington, Tuesday, March 21, 6-8pm with prayer at 7pm. Visitation will continue Wednesday morning, 10-11am, prior to the funeral Mass. Bishop John Stowe, O.F.M. Conv., will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial, beginning at 11 a.m., March 22, in St. Peter Church. Father Keller retired from active ministry in 1994 and lived in residence at St. Peter Church in Lexington. He enjoyed using his retirement years in reading and studying and was active providing sacramental ministry for fellow priests who were on vacation. Father Keller was ordained to the sub-diaconate at St. Peter Church, Lexington, on September 21, 1946 by Bishop William T. Mulloy, and to the transitional diaconate at the Bishop’s Chapel on October 7, 1946, by Bishop Mulloy. On October 20, 1946, Father Keller was ordained a priest by Bishop Mulloy at St. Peter Church in Lexington. Father Keller served four parishes, during his years of ministry: Holy Cross in Latonia; Good Shepherd, Frankfort; St. Joseph, Winchester; Holy Family, Ashland, where he spent his longest tenure, and then returned to Frankfort as pastor. He served as high school teacher for 25 years in four high schools in the Covington diocese and as dean of the Ashland Deanery from 1968 to 1974. Fr. Keller was born in Lexington on February 28, 1924, to Theodore A. and Gertrude Tyrrell Keller. He was a member of St. Peter Church and attended school there and at Lexington Latin School. He attended St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, IN, in 1939 where he studied philosophy and studied theology at Mount St. Mary of the West in Norwood, OH. He completed post-graduate studies at Villa Madonna College in Covington and attended the Notre Dame Institute for Clergy Education in 1984. At the time that the Diocese of Lexington was established in 1988, Fr. Keller was serving as pastor of Good Shepherd Church in Frankfort, where he had also served as assistant pastor in 1955, when the church was part of the Diocese of Covington. In addition to the sacramental ministry he performed during his retirement years, Fr. Keller served as associate vocation director in 1996. Father Keller was preceded in death by his parents, brother John, and grand-nephew Anthony R. “Tony” Keller. He leaves his brother and sister-in-law Tyrrell and Lila A. (Gore) Keller from Woodstock, IL; niece Anita L. (Laurie) Scott from Camarillo, CA; nephew Michael T. (Mary) Keller from Elkin, North Carolina; and 2 grand-nephews, Lucas T. Keller and George A “Tony” Scott; and 2 grand-nieces, Alexandra “Ally” Scott and Sadie L. Keller. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Peter Church (Memo: To: Seminarian Higher Ed. Fund or Retirement Fund for the Religious).