Jim Keeler at COHVCO workshop in Denver, Colorado in 2013
James William Keeler
  • 66 years old
  • Date of birth: Apr 27, 1948
  • Place of birth:
    United States
  • Date of passing: Aug 13, 2014
Let the memory of Jim be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, James Keeler, 66, born on April 27, 1948 and passed away on August 13, 2014. Let's celebrate Jim's life.

Please share tributes, stories and photos to contribute to Jim's memorial.

More information will be posted here soon.  

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by D Napier on 14th August 2015

"Gosh - I sure miss you Jim, in your absence how wonderful to be among a group of some very special people who cared so deeply about you."

This tribute was added by Jack Placchi on 13th August 2015

"Jimmy for you, the top 10 puns of the day:

1. Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
2. I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
3. I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down.
4. I'd tell you a chemistry joke but I know I wouldn't get a reaction.
5. I used to be a banker but I lost interest
6. It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.
7. Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda? He was lucky it was a soft drink.
8. I wasn't originally going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
9. Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It's very time consuming.
10. Proper punctuation can make the difference between a sentence that's well-written and a sentence that's, well, written.

We miss you buddy"

This tribute was added by Terry Heslin on 13th August 2015

"Thinking of Jim today...and the pursuit of happiness in the workplace and home front.  It is really an individual choice to be happy, but it sure is easier when you have a character like Jim in your life.  He continues to inspire me to be grateful and happy....he was model and mentor for me and many others.  His good work and attitude are the legacy of a life well lived.
I miss him very much...

This tribute was added by JoAnn S. Burdett on 29th April 2015

"I appreciate having this site to keep Jim in our hearts."

This tribute was added by Linda Borgeson on 27th April 2015

"I miss James today on his birthday.  I'm thinking of his enthusiasm for solving problems in a win win way.  I loved his humor , and dedication to his interests and projects and his many friends.  I will miss him forever, but I am especially missing him today on his birthday.

Linda Borgeson"

This tribute was added by Jim Greer on 7th September 2014

"I didn't know Jim professionally he was a cousin of my mothers and we would seem him every year or so when he would come through our area on business. I wanted to take a moment to say how much Jim has effected me in a positive way. When I was a young teen my life revolved around off road driving. And seeing him in his big BLM dually truck gave me some type of hero worship. More importantly, I realized then that if I were to ever have a chance to work in public service and possibly work to better OHV opportunities like he was doing, I would need to stay out of trouble. I never did follow in his foot steps in the career path, but the interest did help to keep me on the right path. I would thank him for being a positive roll model,  for his public service, and for the smile that was always on his face when I would see him."

This tribute was added by Robert Regello on 6th September 2014

"It was a privilege to have known Jim and his loss will be felt by me and all the members of the Sacramento Valley Multiple Myeloma Support Group for a long time to come.  He was well-loved by the members because he was positive about the treatment of Multiple Myeloma and always looked at the bright side.  He was a wonderful friend to me and  we often talked about his support group and how it had grown into a very productive and lively assemblage under his leadership.  He always looked for ways to improve and keep the meetings interesting and yielding favorable results.  I highly admired Jim and will miss him dearly."

This tribute was added by Bob Ratcliffe on 29th August 2014

"Jim was one of the most positive and upbeat people I ever had the pleasure to work with - he always saw the potential opportunity in something, always the positive side, always focused on the possibilities - he was and will always be an inspiration to me.  He always made me smile even during some of our most difficult and challenging days in DC....I will miss his insight, kindness, sage advice, friendship and of course - his puns.  My heartfelt thoughts go out to his friends and especially Linda and his family."

This tribute was added by David Jeppesen on 28th August 2014

"I have really enjoyed reading the tributes to Jim so far.  Jack, yours really takes the "cake".
>A crumby start, but no doubt the puns will get a beating as we whisk our way through.
OK one more:
>A baker stopped making donuts after he got tired of the hole thing.

Jim was a joy to be around and was a great example of the kind of public servant I want to be. As I was the young guy joining the "seasoned" TTMT team, Jim made an extra effort to mentor me and teach me the ropes of the complicated world of Travel Management.  Jim left me speechless on many an occasion as I had no response to his well delivered puns accompanied with that head shake and smile.  I always did think of a response but it was much later and would have been out of context at that point.  I always wanted to record the banter that took place between Jim and Bill; it could have been a great, but dry stand up act.
Jim always livened up any meeting or Phonecall with his ability to look at things from a different perspective and of course always look for that perfectly timed pun.  I remember participating in a meeting not to long ago while the TTMT team was writing the background language for our BLM travel management ten year strategy.  Even at that time I remember thinking that it was really a cool thing to be capturing Jim's knowledge of the history of TTM in the BLM and to see his passion for the program come out as we picked his brain.  Jim truly cared about public lands and multiple use management.
I consider myself lucky to know Jim and I am sure that wherever he is, he is leaving those around him speechless. Thanks for the oportunity"

This tribute was added by Bill Gibson on 27th August 2014

"Jim Keeler had the unique talent to turn ordinary work into fun.  He accomplished much in the time that I knew him as part of the BLM National Travel Management Team and into retirement.  We will always remember him for the constant staccato of puns that kept us in stitches during our sometimes laborious Team meetings.  We will also remember him for the pioneering work that he did in BLM Travel Management, starting with the 2001 OHV Strategy.  All that we have accomplished is built upon that original foundation.  One of my favorite "Keeler" stories occurred in 2002, when our Team met in Las Cruces, NM.  I was coming off of a rather contentious OHV workshop in my state, which was held the previous week.  It was not a good time for me.  When we convened in Cruces, I looked at him and said, "your job is to make me laugh this week" -- he did not disappoint me.  He possessed the ability to put the important things in perspective -- and he did it with class.  I will miss the puns and the humor -- but I will really miss my friend.  My heart goes out to you, Linda."

This tribute was added by Jack Placchi on 27th August 2014

"I will miss his sense of humor and always good nature.

In honor of Jimmy:

You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna  fish

    To write with a broken pencil is pointless

> .. When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

> .. A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

> .. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles  U. C. L. A.

> .. The batteries were given out free of charge.

> .. A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

> .. A will is a dead giveaway.

> .. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

> .. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

> .. When you've seen one shopping Center you've seen a mall.

> .. Police were called to a day care Center where a three-year-old was
> resisting a rest.

> .. Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all  right now.

> .. A bicycle can't stand alone;  it is two tired.

> .. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

> .. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

> .. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

> .. When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she'd dye.

> .. Acupuncture is a jab well done. That's the point of it.

> And the cream of the wretched crop:

> .. Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the  end.

      Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice>
> in Antarctica?  Where do they go?
> Wonder no more!!!!!!!  It is a known fact that the penguin is a very
> ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex  
> life.  The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate
> for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact with its
> offspring throughout its life.  If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members
> of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes
> in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole
> is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into, and buried.
> The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:
> *"Freeze a jolly good fellow."*
> *"Freeze a jolly good fellow."*
So two cannibals are eating a clown...one says to the other"Say...somthin' taste funny to you?!"
1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
> He acquired his size from too much pi.
> 2. I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian
> 3. She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.
> 4. A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption

5 No matter how much you push the envelope it'll still be stationery.
> 6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
> 7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blown apart.
> 8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in atie.
> 9. A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall.  The police are looking into it.
> 10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
> 11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
> 12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hall way. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
> 13 .I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
> 14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said;  "Keep off the Grass"
> 15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small
> medium at large.
> 16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
> 17. A backward poet writes inverse.
> 18. In a democracy it's your vote that counts In feudalism it's your count
> that votes.
> 19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
> 20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine.
> 21.A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane The stewardess looks at him and says 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'
> 22. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the
> craft.  Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
> 23.  Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron The other says, 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.

Puns provided by Jimmy's pun soul mate, Bill Gibson."

This tribute was added by D Napier on 25th August 2014

"In 2001 Jim called me to meet him in a D.C. coffee shop.  Not Starbucks he insisted; Caribou.  It was a fitting place to meet.  Jim, not sure what to expect in the new "OHV industry" lady, immediately started telling me stories, trying to win me over, about the long road to the BLM travel management finale. I just smiled and listened to his persuasive talk about BLM's initiative.  I in turn shared with him my background in racing dirt bikes outside of the Washington, D.C. area.  Jim stared at me in disbelief.  I grinned back at him. Silence.  He then breathed an audible sigh of relief.  
I missed Jim when he left D.C.  He has what we all hope for, a legacy.  Thank you Jim.  You did good.  You made a difference. The land is a better place because of you.  We are better people because of you.   Deborah L. Napier

This tribute was added by JoAnn S. Burdett on 25th August 2014

"Big sigh....  eloquent words escape me but he was one of us at CDD from the beginning.  We had an SRP workshop, ?1998?, in Laughlin, NV, at Buffalo Bills. Pretty sure Lee Campbell picked it for the roller coaster. Anyway,  Lee would call a break and we'd all pile onto the roller coaster and scream like little girls at the 200' drop. Jim sure was a nice guy, puns and all."

This tribute was added by Rodger Schmitt on 25th August 2014

"I was delighted to select Jim to join the National Recreation Group team and have someone with his experience, skills and talents lead our National OHV/Travel Management program in Washington.  He was a good natured and fun loving person, always quick with his wit and humor.  And, he was a great team member who had so much to contribute.  Nevertheless, I was glad to see him get the opportunity to head back to the West and get closer to the ground level, where the good work gets done in BLM, and the users, who he truly loved.

He was a great resource and an inspiration to me as my late wife, Jill, faced her battle with bone marrow cancer in 2011.  He was always upbeat about what he was going through and offered encouragement to both me and Jill during her struggle.  I am sad at his loss, but thankful to have known and worked with him and gotten to know Linda a little while they were in DC.  

Thanks Jim and a hug, Linda."

This tribute was added by Tom Bickauskas on 25th August 2014

"I met Jim working at the BLM. He was a great roll model. Travel management is one of the more difficult parts of public land management and Jim always had great stories and was a voice of encouragement. His vision for engaging partners and the public stuck with me. I hope I can take his vision to a new level. His spirit will outlive his time on this earth."

This tribute was added by Terry Heslin on 25th August 2014

"I had the pleasure of knowing Jim for many years.  I first met him while I was working for the Forest Service in California in the mid-80's, later--as a BLM employee--I got to work on a National OHV/Travel Management Team when he was leading that effort from the Washington D.C. office.  He subsequently returned to California where we worked on the same Team until he retired.  He stayed engaged as a consultant and contractor, so I was lucky to cross paths with him several times recently.  
Everyone who encountered Jim benefited from his lighthearted spirit and great sense of humor.  I'm no different.  What often is overlooked is the leadership and contributions Jim made over his long career--especially in the arena of travel management.  The tools, techniques and success stories that have emerged in recent years are directly related to the foundation Jim built with his team in the late nineties and early 2000's.  We've accomplished much, and we have much to accomplish.  When Jim was in the room or on the phone, he somehow made often tedious and complex work fun.  He just had a knack for being happy with the work and infected others with the same "virus".  His memory inspires me to be happy in my work forthwith, and grateful that Jim was a friend and colleague.

This tribute was added by Andrew Stoll on 22nd August 2014

"Jim was recognized in the plenary session this morning at the NOHVCC National OHV Conference in Great Falls, Montana. All in attendance are reflecting on their relationship with Jim. The OHV community will celebrate Jim's spirit and contributions."

This tribute was added by Andrew Stoll on 19th August 2014

"Jim had a wonderful spirit and we are so lucky to have known and worked with him. He was always high spirited and of course always ready with a joke to bring joy to those around him. I’ve been lucky to get to know his wife and daughter over the past 2 years and feel deeply for their loss. Jim found his passion in connecting people to the outdoors many years ago as part of his professional journey in outdoor recreation. We are extremely proud to have had him on the Great Outdoors Consultants team and more importantly as a friend. Over the past couple years I was fortunate to spend wonderful times with Jim working on outdoor recreation projects. We ate many meals together; enjoyed public lands and parks; shared hotel rooms; attended conferences; drove the central California coastline; visited each other’s homes; and provided outdoor recreation solutions in our clients in meetings. These enjoyable and close activities brought us together in a very short time. I know Jim was happy “staying in the game” after retiring from the BLM. Jim fell ill after coming down with a virus and passed away on August 13 in the morning. His immune system was weakened after surviving blood cancer.

Jim would want us to celebrate his life and even better yet share jokes over a cold beer! So here’s a toast to Jim!"

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This memorial is administered by:

Linda Borgeson
Andrew Stoll


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