In loving memory of Marilyn Keller: 1942-2023


Marilyn Dawn Keller, 81, was called home to be with her Lord and Savior on Nov. 25, 2023, at her home in Boistfort, Washington.

Marilyn was born in Chehalis, Washington, on Feb. 18, 1942, to George and Wilma (Good) Alden. She was a direct descendent of John and Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower. The oldest of her siblings, Marilyn truly lived the role as “big sister.”

How can anyone summarize such a blessed and beautiful life? Many things could be written, several others could be spoken, and even more are being kept within her loved ones’ hearts. While it might be impossible to share everything, there are pieces of her character that stand out among the rest.

Marilyn was a woman of faith. Attending church as a child, Marilyn was nearly a lifetime member of the Boistfort Community Church. Teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School were some of her church activities, along with joining the youth group on trips to Mexico. While church was a significant part of Marilyn’s life, her faith wasn’t reserved for Sunday alone. She lived by faith in full, being led by the Lord all along the way.

Marilyn was a woman of music. From an early age, she enjoyed singing and was a self-taught pianist. This talent was shared with her faith, as she led worship singing, played the piano and sang special music in church, including memorial services and weddings. She also sang in many community choirs and shared her musical talents on Sunday afternoons with the elderly in assisted living homes.

Marilyn was a woman of strength. It showed in everything she put her hands to, but there was no greater strength than the love she gave to her family. That part of her life began on Sept. 20, 1958, when she married her high school sweetheart, Michael Keller. They recently celebrated their anniversary, sharing 65 years together. By the age of 21, Marilyn was a mother to four boys. While she was a wife and mother, she earned several more titles as she gave herself to her family. Marilyn was their cook, nurse, housekeeper, comforter, counselor, peacekeeper, organizer, seamstress, barber and friend. Her personal enjoyments were not hers alone, but also shared with her family. Marilyn loved gardening, canning, wood cutting, hosting picnics at Keller Creek and going on reunion trips with many of her cousins. She also enjoyed watching high school and youth sports with Mike, especially their sons, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. Some other favorites were feeding the birds in her backyard, watching the nearby bald eagle’s nest, making homemade ice cream and maple bars.

Marilyn’s strength was shared beyond her home, by giving, working and volunteering in the community. Growing up on a dairy farm was where work began for Marilyn and her activities never stopped. Joining 4H in her youth, she showed farm animals at the fair. She graduated from Boistfort High School in 1960. During her high school years, she was involved in chorus, student court, senior play, honor society and was a cheerleader. In the early 1970s, she served as counselor’s aide for two years at W.F. West High School, and then during the 1980s, she was an educational aide for the Boistfort School for four years. She volunteered to work for the Boistfort School lunch program, and then became the full-time school cook, serving in that position for 16 years. She volunteered as an EMT for 32 years for the Boistfort Fire Department. She was a 4H leader, Scout leader, a member of the Cinderellas and was a Baw Faw Grange member for over 10 years.

Preceding her in death are her parents, brother, William Alden, and daughter-in-law, Dana.

Marilyn is survived by her husband, Michael; sons, Marvin (Ramona), Adna, Ken (Yvonne), Doty, Robert, Tukwila, and Dennis, Napavine; grandchildren, Denae (Eric) Snow, Shawmut, Montana, Tonya Keller, Adna, Blythe Keller (Travis Hosler), Seattle, Trever (Emma) Keller, Doty, Demi (Justin) Hill, Rochester, Brennan (Tara) Keller, Napavine, and Mason (Trisha) Keller, Chehalis. Marilyn was blessed with sixteen great-grandchildren with two more set to join the family in 2024. She leaves behind her sisters, Cheryl (Ben) Ames, Dryad, and Suzanne (Rick) Nelson, Dryad; sister-in-law Marsha Alden, Pe Ell; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, at the Boistfort School gymnasium. There will be a potluck following the service at the Baw Faw Grange. 

Donations may be made to the Boistfort Community Church, the Boistfort Lions Club Dollars for Scholars or Lewis County Young Life.