Ruby Keeler

(Aug. 18, 1922 - June 29, 2024)


Ruby Keeler, who called Powell her home for 79 years, died at Powell Valley Care Center on June 29, 2024, just a month short of her 102nd birthday.

She was born Aug. 8, 1922 in Seminole, Oklahoma to Frank and Mary Smith, one of seven children. The family moved to Orange, Texas in a covered wagon where her dad worked in a paper mill. They moved back to Oklahoma eight years later.

During the depression, she picked cotton to help feed the family.

She married Charles Keeler June 15, 1940. They moved to Illinois where Charles found work in the oilfield. They ended up back in Oklahoma where they farmed for a couple of years before moving to Powell in 1945. Charles worked in Elk Basin where they lived for several years. In 1955, they bought the company house they lived in and moved it to Road 10 on the acre of ground they bought. They raised a huge garden and Ruby canned and froze the produce for her family. She was a seamstress and loved to bake. Her kitchen was filled with the wonderful smells of the cookies she made for neighbors, church groups and friends. One can only guess how many dozens of cookies she made, but it had to be in the thousands of dozens.

Her joy in life was her family: her children Charlene, Glenna, Nolan and Carla, five grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and one great, great grandson, whom she was able to meet and cuddle shortly before her death. Her family was always in awe of her memory of the family trees on both sides of the family, events and friends and their children. She was definitely the family historian.

Ruby was preceeded in death by her parents, siblings, husband Charles, infant daughter Vivian, daughter Charlene Engen and son-in-law Don Engen.

Survivors are son Nolan Keeler, daughters Glenna (Lou) D’Amico and Carla (Russ) Essex; grandchildren Kurt (Marsha) Kevin and Kathy Engen, Danial Keeler (Kate) and Julie (Ron) Moore; great grandchildren Dexter (Alicia), Delainey, Hailey, Michael, Gabbie, Andy, Gracie and great, great grandson Teddy.

Services will be held Tuesday, July 9 at 10 a.m. at the First Southern Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to Backpack Blessings or the charity of your choice.