Cover photo for Thomas "Tom" David Keller's Obituary
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Thomas "Tom" David Keller

March 16, 1930 — March 4, 2024


Thomas "Tom" David Keller

Tom, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, learned the answers to all mysteries on Monday, March 4th, 2024 in Saginaw, Michigan at the age of 93. Tom was born on March 16, 1930 in Columbia City, Indiana to the late Otto and Loretta (Otto) Keller. 

As part of a military family, he traveled with his family throughout his childhood, never staying in a single school for more than 6 months. He graduated high school in Texas before heading off to study at Purdue University, where he was enrolled in the Air Force ROTC and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. Tom proudly served his country in the Air Force from 1950 until his retirement in 1973, serving in both the Korean and Vietnam wars as a radar navigator. After his retirement and honorable discharge from the Air Force, he worked as a technical representative for Xerox before retiring to work as a civilian contractor with the Weapon System Trainers program. During his service in the Air Force, Tom met Joan Eileen Butts. The two were married in 1963 and adopted their only child, Kim, in 1966. The two were married until 2000. Tom then met Joan Rose Waters in 2014 and the two were married in 2020. She survives him.

Tom stayed active in his free time, embarking on many road trips all across the country, and kept his mind engaged with sudoku, puzzles, and keeping up with the stock market. Tom loved music and attended concerts across the mid-Michigan and Bay areas for the last 15 years. He enjoyed watching and attending major sporting events and supporting the Detroit Red Wings. Tom loved nature, wildlife, and pets, and even had to have his chainsaw taken away at the age of 83. He was proud of his service, especially his Distinguished Flying Cross medal. He visited many air shows and air museums throughout the United States, and was a member of the Korean War Veterans Association. 

Tom is remembered as a man who always shared his knowledge and education with his loved ones. He was a great conversationalist and master of sarcasm who loved showing his affection through teasing and pushing buttons. He was quick-minded and sharp as a tack until the day he died, and lived his last years in absolute joy. 

Tom is survived by his loving wife Joan Keller; daughter Kim Howell; and grandchildren Sammy (Megan) Howell and Matthew (Amber) Howell; as well as many nieces, nephews, other family members, friends, and his animal companion, Morris.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Loretta, and his brother, Otto Keller, Jr. 

In accordance with Tom’s wishes, cremation is to take place, with a private inurnment to be held at the Great Lakes National Cemetery. Military honors will be rendered by the United States Air Force and American Legion Post #439. Cremation arrangements were trusted to W.L. Case and Company Funeral Directors, 4480 Mackinaw Rd, Saginaw, MI 48603. Please share your thoughts, prayers, and memories with the family at

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