JERSEYVILLE - John Lawrence "Larry" Keller, 77, died at 4:01 a.m., Sunday, December 2, 2018 at St. John's Hospital in Springfield.
He was born in Alton, Illinois on March 8, 1941, one of nine children born to Charles E. "Pop" and Marguerite F. "Mom" (Johnson) Keller.
Larry grew up in Grafton, along with eight siblings, where his father had served as Mayor. He, like many others in his family, was very active in the family restaurant, Keller Steakhouse in Grafton.
He graduated in 1959 from Jersey Community High School, and furthered his education at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., where he earned his B.S. in Education.
He was employed with State of Illinois through the Department of Corrections, and for many years lived in West Frankfort, Il, before moving to Jerseyville in 1994. He retired in 2003 after many years of dedicated service.
Larry had many interests, and one of his greatest talents was the gift of turning an otherwise mundane event into something earth shattering. He loved to socialize with his friends, sharing a "Barley Pop" and was always there with his trademark smile and laugh.
He was honored to have been elected to the Jersey County Board, where he felt he was able to be the ear for his fellow residents. He enjoyed both duck and goose hunting, fishing, and tackling any golf course that he came across.
He was a passionate fan of the game of football and the Green Bay Packers, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish may have just lost their biggest fan.
He married the former Mary M. Serrano on May 31, 1975 at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Jerseyville, and together they have shared 43 years of marriage, and raised two wonderful children.
Surviving are his wife, Mary Keller of Jerseyville; a son, John Keller of Jerseyville; a daughter, Susie Keller of Jerseyville; nieces and nephews, and his lifetime friend, Tom Plummer of Jerseyville.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by five sisters, Elizabeth "Betty Jean" Goodwin, Margaret Whaley, Mary B. DeSherlia, Theresa Ann Foval, Sarah "Sally" Holder; and three brothers, Charles Patrick Keller, Michael Keller and William Keller.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jerseyville, with Father Martin Smith officiating.
He will be laid to rest in in the Scenic Hill Cemetery in Grafton, where the Grafton American Legion Post #648 will conduct military graveside rites.
Memorials may be given to the Keller family in care of the funeral home.