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Jay Keller

On December 15, 2020, Jay Keller, age 75, brother, uncle, nephew, and most loyal of friends, departed this world for a better one.

Jay grew up working on his parents' dairy farm in Catawissa, Pennsylvania with his brothers. He graduated from Bloomsburg State College and began a teaching career that lasted for more than three decades, inspired by his own teachers and sustained by his talent for engaging children.

Jay made his home in Hermosa Beach, California for decades (living in Dallas, Texas for a few years in the middle), and taught at both Hermosa View and Hermosa Valley schools. Known as ""Keller"" by many friends, Jay's personality was as sunny as the southern California sky. He endeared himself to scores of students, their parents, and his fellow teachers and co-workers with his no nonsense passion for teaching, sense of humor, and admittedly, the occasional prank. He was happiest when he could walk to school, greeting people along the way, chatting with parents, former students, neighbors, and friends. He later retired from teaching and moved to Palm Springs, where he quickly became an avid pickle ball player and built yet another network of dear friends.

Jay nurtured deep and long-lasting friendships that endured across time and space – he kept in touch, visited, and remembered details about their lives. He was known to all for his cheerful irreverence and lasting affection. Jay endeared himself to scores of friends and extended family throughout his life – all those who knew him were deeply affected by his genuine regard.

Jay is survived by his sister, LuAn Keller; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Nancy Keller; sister-in-law, Valerie Keller (Jack); aunt, Arlene Kile (née Artley); three nieces, Chandra Keller, Mandy Militello (née Keller), and Jodi Moore (née Keller); nephew, Bret Keller; and many grand nieces and nephews, cousins, other extended family, and dear friends. He is predeceased by his father, Clarence Keller; mother, Kathleen Keller (née Artley); older brother, Jack Keller; and younger sister, Lesa Keller.

A memorial service will be planned later in 2021, pending the ability for safe travels and gathering of loved ones following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please email jaykeller.service-info@yahoo.com if you would like to be notified when services are planned.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Beach Reporter on Jan. 26, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
March 2, 2021
Jay was one of the funnest guys to be around. I met him in Hermosa in the '70's; I'd just moved in to his building, and he immediately invited me to a group thing at the old Red Onion in Redondo that night. I met my future wife at that party! I hadn't seen Jay too often the last few years, but I did visit him in Palm Springs about five years ago. He was a unique guy and a great friend, and his energy brought so many wonderful people together. Gonna miss him.....

Mike Elkins
February 19, 2021
Oh my, my heart is heavy. Jay was a prince amongst men. He was such a genuine inclusive man, I remember playing dominoes with him (and you’d better play by the rules!). I think Jay had a rich adventurous life which he enjoyed to the fullest. Jay I count my blessings to have met you and enjoyed your friendship as a neighbor, you were the best. RIP good friend!
Ellen lowell-Hazleton
February 9, 2021
He came to TP teachers houses with us. I remember Mr. Ferris screaming and yelling after he caught us and then seeing Mr. Keller... thought he was going to fall over. Funniest moment ever. Also remember Mr. Keller dancing at the Bat mitzvah’s. He would dance until he was drenched. He was always good to me in class. He was one of the few teachers who treated me like a normal human. He never judged me or yelled at me. He was a positive male role model for me.
February 7, 2021
Jay was a lively, animated lifelong friends for over fifty years from Bloom until the day he passed. We visited him in CA and he visited us often here in PA. In between we kept in constant touch through the years. He was a true friend in so many ways. Although we can no longer exchange visits, he will remain always in our hearts. We will always love him.
January 28, 2021
Please read this 2010 Hermosa Beach Reporter article about Jay and his legacy as a teacher as well. It's a lovely piece. https://tbrnews.com/news/hermosa_beach/keller-honored-twice-for-his-35-years-of-teaching/article_e82c60ed-8f7b-5120-8fbd-5bbfbb4cc40e.html
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