November 19, 2021
With great sadness and enduring love, we announce the passing of Norman Keller on November 19, 2021, at the age of 89. Norm passed away peacefully in Victoria, British Columbia, while in the company of loved ones.
Norm leaves behind a large and loving family, which includes his wife Caroline and his children Gord (Cherie), Doug (Cathy), Donna Lang (Tom), Warren (Anita Hoitsma) and Janine Entius, along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Norm was born on March 21, 1932, in Vanguard, Saskatchewan to Valentine and Elizabeth Keller and grew up in Oliver, British Columbia. Growing up, Norm excelled in sports, notably soccer and track and field.
After his father fell ill, Norm left school at just 15 years old, worked various jobs and helped-out in the family orchard. He maintained that work ethic and dedication to providing for his family throughout his adult life.
On September 29, 1956, Norm married the love of his life, Caroline Miller. The two spent 65 happy years together. Their first child was born on October 12, 1957. Norm and his family moved to Nanaimo in 1959. Norm owned and operated Hub City Shell for 11 years before starting his own business, Norm Keller Contracting, which he successfully ran for 33 years.
After a long and successful career, he finally retired in 2006. He spent his later years happily tending to his home and garden and enjoying the company of his family.
Norm was a faithful member of St. Pauls Lutheran church in Nanaimo.
Norm will be forever loved and deeply missed. We will continue to see him as a role model for how to live a good life. His values of hard work, kindness, and dedication to loved ones will live on in his family and serve as his legacy.
Norm’s daughter Donna wrote the following words after his passing:
“This man, this wonderful, caring, gentle, hard-working, beautiful man who was, as my mother said today, ‘the backbone of our family.’
You, Dad, held us together while everything around us was scattering in the storm. You stood by us even when you knew what we were doing wasn't the best decision we could have made. You walked us down the aisle. You kissed our cheeks through the tears of heartbreak. You held our children, whispering into their tiny ears until they slept soundly on your chest. You listened without judgement, helped without question and never once, although I'm sure you thought it, said, ‘I wish you'd taken my advice!’
You fought your own battles, beating back the beasts of Acoustic Neuroma and Cancer and stood at the top of the hill in victory.
You, Dad, built an empire! A mountain! A kingdom of people who love you, respect you, admire you, and who will miss you every second of every day! The strength, determination and wisdom that you instilled in all of us will continue, Dad. Your backbone lives on in us, your sons and daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Rest in Peace now, Dad! You deserve the rest!
Until we meet again,
Your loving family.”
A funeral service will be held in the coming weeks. If you would like to make a donation in Norm’s honour, please make it out to St Paul’s Lutheran Church for the Missions at 394 Shepherd Ave, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 3X1.