July 31, 1920-April 6, 2013
SLAYTON – Services Maxine Margaret Keller, 92, of Slayton, are at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church in Slayton. Burial is at Slayton Memorial Gardens, Slayton. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Totzke Funeral Home in Slayton and also one hour prior to the services at the church on Thursday.
She died in her home Saturday, April 6, 2013, after finally being slowed down from her active lifestyle by thyroid cancer.
She was born July 31, 1920, at the Jacobson homestead in Leeds Township, Murray County, to Harry and Bertha (Thorson) Jacobson. She attended grade school in Hadley and graduated from Slayton High School in 1938. She then graduated from Mankato Teacher’s College and taught country school near Hadley for three years.
On June 12, 1943, Maxine was united in marriage to Robert Keller at Hadley Lutheran Church. They moved to the Keller farm and continued as the third generation to farm the homestead until 1976 when they moved to Slayton.
Maxine was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, Christian Women’s Club, Mission Circle, and was a Past Matron of Eastern Star. She also belonged to the Murray County Hospital Auxiliary, book club at the Slayton library, and eagerly attended many school and charity events in the community. She was an avid golfer and loved to play bridge. At one point she played in three different bridge clubs.
Bob and Maxine spent many winters in their home in Mesa, Ariz. They both loved to travel and made numerous trips to visit their daughter, Pam, in Australia. Maxine also made many other trips throughout the U.S. and abroad. She visited New Zealand, Viet Nam, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and made several trips to Europe. Her favorite country was Norway, where she explored her Norwegian heritage. She helped organize the Syttende Mai parades in Slayton and loved to wear her traditional Norwegian dress for the occasions.
An avid walker, Maxine faithfully walked two miles almost every day of her life. Her stamina and positive attitude led her to live by her mantra of “fit, fun and forever young.” In 2009, at the age of 89, she participated in the World Senior Games in Sydney, Australia. She won a gold medal in the 1500-meter race for her age group.
Maxine is survived by her three children; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and three sisters. Her children are Linda (Dr. Jack) Barker, Sioux Falls, S.D., Thomas (Julie) Keller, Slayton, and Pamela (Peter) Carroll, Sydney, Australia. Her seven grandchildren are Jacob (Jenny) Barker, Matthew (Rebecca) Barker, Kimberly Keller, Marie (Jake) Holton, Justin (Krista) Keller, Bennett Carroll, and Piers Carroll. Maxine was blessed with eight great-grandchildren: Jack and Seaborn Barker, Isaac, Leah Maxine and Ezra Holton, Beatrice and Rhys Barker, and Bobby Keller. Her close-knit surviving sisters are Avis VandeBraak and Mary Ann (Edward) Suedbeck of Slayton, and Bette Taylor of Faribault.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Keller and her parents.