Former Durango resident Charles Alfred Keeler died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in Pueblo. He was 71. The cause of death was complications from bypass surgery he underwent in October.
Known as “Chuck,” he was born to Cecil A. and Bertha A. Keeler on Dec. 19, 1941, in Raton, N.M. He graduated from Raton High School in 1960.
While attending high school, Mr. Keeler started working with his father at the local Safeway store. He withdrew from Texas Western College to enlist in the Army to serve his country during the Vietnam War. He returned home in 1965, continuing his career with Safeway.
In 1966, he married Sharon L. Morgan in Raton.
His career as a Safeway manager allowed them to live in and enjoy many cities. In addition to living in Durango from 1979 to 1987, they lived in Pueblo, Walsenburg, La Junta, Grand Junction, Salida and Clayton, N.M.
Mrs. Keeler died from breast cancer in 1997.
Mr. Keeler retired in 1998 after a 43-year career with Safeway. Being retired allowed him more time to spend with his new wife, Carmen (Voss) Keeler, whom he married in 1999 in Estes Park.
After retiring, the Keelers focused on their hobbies and grandchildren.
An avid sportsman, Mr. Keeler dabbled in archery and guns when he was young and it continued throughout his life. He hunted a bit, but spent most of his spare time at various shooting matches and many disciplines through the years. He was a member of the Single Action Shooting Society.
“Chuck most enjoyed teaching his grandsons the finer points of hunting and marksmanship,” his family said. “He was known by his S.A.S.S. alias, ‘Chuckwagon Chuck.’ He prided himself on his shooting accomplishments and even started casting his own bullets and shooting black powder.”
Mr. Keeler is survived by his wife of more than 13 years, Carmen Keeler of Pueblo; children Kimberly Roth of Bayfield and Shawn Keeler of Salida; stepchildren Aaron Voss of Phoenix and Laura Harley of Tonto Basin, Ariz.; brother, Curtis Keeler of Raton; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and four nieces and four nephews.
Cremation has taken place. At his request, there will be no services. The ashes will be scattered at a favorite place in the mountains in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bayfield Super Shooters, c/o La Plata County 4-H Club, 564 County Road 504, Bayfield, CO 81122.
Online condolences may be sent at www.MontgomerySteward.com.