ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Denny Keller. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Dennison Keller on February 15, 2021
"Mighty Denny" - by Bob Parsons

The latest Player’s production needed a little tweek.
With money tight and the virus out they needed a good week.
Who do they call when the play would need a little dressing
The keller’s come though with then there aint no messing
Denisinson came by to give it a try but his heart was not in it.
Found two old people with problems to solve so he sued with hopes to winit.
Caroline came by to take a look, she looked a little dizzy
Have you met her family, seen her job she is far too busy.
Let’s call Sophie, she’s been around and can run the board.
But she’s gone to college seen the world and theatre makes her bored.
Nick is here outta college he would make the play to throb.
I can’t go he said, I graduated from school and have to find a job.
That means we are through I see no hope we might as well quit.
Who do we know that’s been around that might be a good fit
How about Bob Parsons, he is always a first class winner
We called him he can’t come, he has to make Beryl’s dinner
Doom is lurking around each corner nook and cranny
Somebody said, we can get a kid and a dog and do Annie
Panic was there and decided to call an oldie, Jennie Browning
Jennie they said,, we need some help I feel the place is drowning
She took the phone, with authority, like a banker’s teller
Don’t talk to me, do what we did, go and get Denny Keller
Great idea they said let’s get together and call to get help from the king.
The call was too late for he never heard the telephone ring.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children roam
But there is no joy in Maysville, - Mighty Denny has gone home
Posted by Joni Powers on February 11, 2021
More than anyone I've known, Denny loved life. Whenever he was around his love could be felt. His light was bright. I am fortunate to have known Denny. He will be missed! 
Posted by Clifford Russell on February 10, 2021
Oh I am so saddened by the loss of my good friend starting with the close friendship of our grandparents we have managed to maintain the family relationship for more than 120 years. In the 50s Denny traveled to Sacramento and through Albert Koewler and Cal Knoll we became fast friends. He is as dear a friend to me as anyone could possibly be . The lights in Maysville are dimmer tonight. Always and forever in our hearts. Rusty and Jeanene
Posted by Scott Powers on February 10, 2021
Denny was kind, willing to take the first step, intelligent, sincere, thoughtful. He made you truly feel welcome. Denny leaves a legacy of love and friendships. The world could surely use more like him. I was so fortunate to have Denny step into my life. Scott Powers
Posted by Dennison Keller on February 8, 2021
Denny Keller, the Legend Denny Keller a/k/a Papa, Dad, the Original “Gangsta”, and The Music Man said, “To hell with this cancer crap, I’m not gonna let my foot get caught in the door. I’m late for a cocktail party with the Lord.” He arrived for it during Happy Hour, February 6, 2021.

Two monumental events marked 1937, a minuscule little flood of the century along the Ohio River, and the true high watermark -the birth of R. Dennison Keller.

The 83 years that followed proved to be a grand, loud, flamboyant production of dichotomy, leaving all lucky enough to view it slightly confused, but always enriched for the better. He grew up in the small town of Ripley, Ohio, but bolted after college for the big lights of Los Angeles. Though surrounded by glitz and movie starlets, he returned to marry his hometown sweetheart Carolanne Germann Keller. He promised to whisk her back off to Hollywood, but they settled happily together on Main Street in Ripley. He ran his own insurance agency by day, but by night produced pageants including Miss Ohio and Miss Texas. He coached and groomed Miss Ohio in preparation for the Miss America competition, helping two winners from the state bring home the ultimate crown. He later judged the Miss America Pageant himself and served on the pageant’s board of directors

Despite a lifetime of receiving smothering affection from pageant queens, no one could replace the love of his life Carolanne, and the couple remained happily married for 58 years. On Saturday nights, the two would serve cocktails and sing by the piano with artists, gay couples, and dancers in drag. And then on Sunday mornings, Denny would faithfully show up for his volunteer slot playing the organ at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

He always thirsted for travel and sought perspective from regions beyond the Ohio Valley. Yet, he harbored fierce pride for his home state and communities, and was passionate about improving them, serving on the Ripley School Board, Hayswood Hospital Board, Ohio Tobacco Festival Board, Hospice of Hope Board, and Ripley Sesquicentennial Committee. He acted as President of the OK Warehouse Board, Ripley Kiwanis Club, Ripley High School Alumni Association, and St. Michael’s Parish Refurbishing Committee. He served as a founding member of the Maysville Players producing, directing, and starring in numerous musical productions and comedies.

Though dissuading his own children from pursuing a career in the arts due to all the struggles that were sure to follow, Denny served as primary cheerleader and encourager for countless others who yearned to see their name in lights.

Though conservative in his politics and his religion, Denny acted as a counselor and personal safe haven for numerous young people struggling with their identity, careers, sexuality, or position in life.

In addition to his wife, he leaves behind two children, Maria Caroline Keller Reece and Robert Dennison Keller, Jr. whom he set out on a life of inconvenient torture by calling them by their middle names. Their bipolar experience of living with their father left them whipsawed, and not quite well. But they adore him, relishing every second of their front row seats for the best show in town. And they continue to compete for his attention, even in death. In fact, right now they are still bickering (in various accents) over what to include and leave out of this obituary.

But they did manage to give him two fabulous in laws, (Shaun Reece and Theresa Kalkhoff Keller), and five grandchildren (Nicholas and Sophie Reece and Jonas, Luke and Dominic Keller). Fortunately for them, none of them got tattooed while he was alive, and therefore he kept them in his will. He instilled in them a love of travel and show tunes, and they were with him as the curtain fell to help him exit stage right.

If there was one constant with the legend that is Denny Keller, it is the love he showered on everyone around him, like a standing ovation that never ends. Huge, wonderful, smothering, and unwavering love, with big shoulders and jazz hands. If you were blessed to be in his cast of characters, and feel compelled to offer your own applause in the form of a donation, whatever you do, don’t send flowers. He considered them a damn waste of money, and wouldn’t even buy them for his own wife. Instead, travel with him on his parallel journey into the next world by giving to the theatre (Maysville Players) or the church (St. Michael’s in Ripley or St. Patrick’s in Maysville). 

And if you really want to honor his legacy, always embrace the chance to offer someone a sincere compliment to their face. It’ll brighten your day and theirs. Do that and Denny will raise his glass and have a cocktail waiting for you when you join him at the party.

Due to Covid restrictions, Denny will be laid to rest during a private Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick’s Church in Maysville, Kentucky on Friday, February 12, 2021, followed by a private graveside service at the Maplewood Cemetery in Ripley, Ohio. When this damn pandemic ends, we will produce a proper send-off and celebration of a very big life, hopefully, this summer. The Cahall Funeral Home in Ripley, Ohio is serving the family.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Dennison Keller on February 15, 2021
"Mighty Denny" - by Bob Parsons

The latest Player’s production needed a little tweek.
With money tight and the virus out they needed a good week.
Who do they call when the play would need a little dressing
The keller’s come though with then there aint no messing
Denisinson came by to give it a try but his heart was not in it.
Found two old people with problems to solve so he sued with hopes to winit.
Caroline came by to take a look, she looked a little dizzy
Have you met her family, seen her job she is far too busy.
Let’s call Sophie, she’s been around and can run the board.
But she’s gone to college seen the world and theatre makes her bored.
Nick is here outta college he would make the play to throb.
I can’t go he said, I graduated from school and have to find a job.
That means we are through I see no hope we might as well quit.
Who do we know that’s been around that might be a good fit
How about Bob Parsons, he is always a first class winner
We called him he can’t come, he has to make Beryl’s dinner
Doom is lurking around each corner nook and cranny
Somebody said, we can get a kid and a dog and do Annie
Panic was there and decided to call an oldie, Jennie Browning
Jennie they said,, we need some help I feel the place is drowning
She took the phone, with authority, like a banker’s teller
Don’t talk to me, do what we did, go and get Denny Keller
Great idea they said let’s get together and call to get help from the king.
The call was too late for he never heard the telephone ring.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children roam
But there is no joy in Maysville, - Mighty Denny has gone home
Posted by Joni Powers on February 11, 2021
More than anyone I've known, Denny loved life. Whenever he was around his love could be felt. His light was bright. I am fortunate to have known Denny. He will be missed! 
Posted by Clifford Russell on February 10, 2021
Oh I am so saddened by the loss of my good friend starting with the close friendship of our grandparents we have managed to maintain the family relationship for more than 120 years. In the 50s Denny traveled to Sacramento and through Albert Koewler and Cal Knoll we became fast friends. He is as dear a friend to me as anyone could possibly be . The lights in Maysville are dimmer tonight. Always and forever in our hearts. Rusty and Jeanene
Recent stories
Shared by Dennison Keller on February 8, 2021
Denny's 50th Birthday Tribute
Shared by Dennison Keller on February 8, 2021
This was a Birthday Video Papa's grandchildren created for him to help him celebrate is 80th birthday.