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Bohumir ‘Bum’ Keeler

January 13, 2012
Estherville Daily News

ESTHERVILLE - Funeral services for Bohumir 'Bum' Thomas Keeler, 92, of Estherville will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel in Estherville with Sister Patrick Murphy officiating. Military graveside rites by VFW Post 3388 and American Legion Post 91 of Estherville will be at East Side Memorial Cemetery, Estherville. He passed away Wednesday, Jan. 11 at Avera Holy Family Health in Estherville.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel in Estherville.

Bohumir 'Bum' Thomas Keeler, the son of Thomas and Nanette (Pride) Keeler, was born Nov. 27, 1919, in Fort Dodge.

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Bohumir ‘Bum’ Keeler

Bum moved with his family as a child to the Estherville area. He was baptized at Union Baptist Church in Estherville and attended school in Maple Hill and Estherville. On Jan. 4, 1941, Bum was united in marriage to Betty Jean Paris at the Union Baptist Parsonage in Estherville. He served in the United States Army during World War II and was stationed in the European Theatre and participated in campaigns in Normandy and Rhineland. Bum was awarded three major battle stars. Following his honorable discharge from military service he returned to the area.

Bum and Betty made their home in Estherville where they raised their family. Bum was employed at John Morrell and Company in Estherville for 43 years. For the most part, his 43-years at John Morrell were as a maintenance electrician and he retired in 1982. Bum took great pride in his children, his home and his automobiles. He enjoyed family vacations and the nickel slots at Jackpot Junction and Deadwood, S.D. Most of the time he was a stay at home sort of guy who always enjoyed projects around the home including a couple additions to the house, and an addition on his mother-in-law's house so she could have an indoor washer and dryer.

He entered Rosewood Manor at 89 when he fell and broke his hip working in his garden shed. He was always in charge of snow removal and lawn mowing. As humorous as this may sound, he was proud to be left handed and often told stories of teachers rapping his knuckles with a ruler trying to break him of this. Perhaps this was the reason that once he sealed a jar of pickles no one could get them open.

Grateful for having shared Bum's life are his two daughters, Sandy Breyfogle and her husband, Dan of Mason City; Lori Keeler of Estherville; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; brother, Eldon Keeler and his wife, Lorraine of Estherville and sisters, Mary Ross of Hurst, Texas and Gertie Weibel of Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Preceding Bum in death were his wife, Betty in 2003; son, Butch Keeler in 2006; an infant granddaughter; two brothers and four sisters.

Online condolences may be made at



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