MISSOULA - Irene V Keller, age 78, passed away on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula from complications due to pancreatic cancer. Irene was born on June 28, 1930, in Laurel to Mary and Philip Staley of Billings. She graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1948. Irene married Kenneth F. Keller on June 11, 1950, at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Billings; they were married 58 years. Irene was a member of the Friendly Circle at the Pilgrim Congregational Church and Star Allemadners Square Dancer Club in Billings. She was also the Treasurer and Secretary of the Willow Ridge Townhouse Association in Missoula. In Billings, she was a Telephone Operator with Mountain Bell before marriage until her first son was born. Then became a Domestic Engineer raising three boys until the youngest was in Junior High, and then worked at Coles Department Store. After the family moved to Helena in 1969, she worked as a Teller at First National Bank. When the family moved to Missoula in 1972, she continued to work in the US Bank system. After Irene and Kenny moved to Kent, Washington in 1978, she continued her banking career. When they moved back to Missoula in 1985, she worked in the US Bank loan department until she retired in 1992. Irene was a loving wife and caring mother, grandma, and great grandma. In her earlier years she was an avid Square Dancer and Bowler with life-partner Kenny. She was known for her organizational excellence and household financial coordinator skills. She was a good cook-especially German Food. She had a great sense of humor and liked to kid around, she became very proficient at Nintendo, was a consummate reader and a fastidious gardener. Irene liked to do crossword puzzles and watch Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and professional golf; she also drove the golf cart when son Greg and granddaughter Kristina played golf. She liked to go boating with son Jay on Canyon Ferry and Gates of the Mountains. She liked to go flying with son and pilot Randy. Irene was a thrifty shopper and an excellent interior decorator. Irene liked taking pictures and assembled many scrapbooks and photo albums, she helped her children and grandchildren with any question or problem they had and she liked the original country western singers.
Irene was preceded in death by mother-Mary Staley (Fox); father-Philip Staley, and grandson-Gregory Keller Jr.
She is survived by husband, Kenny (Missoula) and three sons-Greg (Kathy), North Ogden, Utah; Jason (Kathy), Helena; and Randy (Gloria), Arlee. She is further survived by four grandkids and eight great-grandkids. Due to Irene's request, no public visitation or service will be conducted. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be sent to cancer research.