FISHTAIL — Averill E. Keller was born April 9, 1930, to Shields and Elsie McCullough Perkins in Pullman, Washington. She passed away Nov. 26, 2018, peacefully at her home on the Keller Ranch.
She attended grade school in Albion, Washington, and graduated from High School in Pullman, where she continued her education at Washington State University, finishing with a degree in home economics. Upon graduation she became an extension agent in Conrad and Billings.
On Nov. 9, 1952, Averill and Vernon Keller, a rancher from Fishtail, were married in the Presbyterian Church in Pullman, Washington. Averill became an active partner with her husband on their sheep and cattle ranch.
She was very involved in local and state organizations. She was a member and officer in Rock Rose Chapter, O.E.S. of Columbus and the Absarokee Congregational Church, serving as clerk and Deaconess and teaching Sunday school. Averill was a member and past president of T-bone Cattle Women and served one term as National Cattle Women parliamentarian. She was also a member of D.A.R., Shining MT Chapter of Billings and a lifetime member of Job’s Daughters. Averill took an active interest, along with her husband, in Montana Stockgrowers and Woolgrowers. She was active in the Stillwater Republicans and had served as chairman of the Central Committee as well as belonging to the Republican women’s group. Averill was always involved in her children’s activities and was a 4-H leader for ten years.
Throughout her life Averill was committed to her husband, children, grandchildren, and the ranch. She was always promoting agriculture and a rural family lifestyle.
Averill was preceded in death by her husband Vernon, her parents Shields and Elsie; brother Richard; and brothers Russel and Leonard Perkins, twin siblings who passed at birth.
She is survived by her children, Elana (Gordon) Swandal, Greg (Terlene) Keller; grandchildren, Katie (Jason) Struthers, Jeff (Laurie) Keller, Cody (Cameo) Keller, Ivory Keller, Eric Blakely, and Tara Blakely; great grandchildren, Cory, Tatum and Winter Rae Struthers, Marshall, Marissa and Ella Nelson, Charlotte Keller and Elizabeth Lohof.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at the Community Congregational Church in Absarokee with interment at the Rosebud Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made in Averill’s name to the Absarokee Fire Department or Community Congregational Church in Absarokee, as well as the charity of your choice.