David “Dave” Dean Keller was born in Minot, N.D., on Oct. 27, 1951, and passed away at the age of 64 in Billings, on Sept. 30, 2016.
Dave was the eldest of nine children born to Raymond and Ella Mae (Klain) Keller. On Sept. 28, 1979, Dave married the love of his life, Tina Marie Leenknecht, and out of their marriage came two wonderful gifts from God, Hunter and Dexter. He loved his family so much and was so proud of both of his sons, but his greatest treasure was his grandson, Layne. They were inseparable and the best of friends.
Dave graduated from high school in Parshall, N.D., in 1969 and attended trade school in Bismarck. In trade school, Dave learned a skill that would be his career for the next 40 years. Baking was Dave’s passion and he truly excelled at it. He worked for Kon’s, Buttrey’s, and Evergreen IGA as their bakery manager. Dave always said, “I love making a product that I can watch people enjoy.”
Dave loved people. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and was the most caring person in the world. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, camping, hunting and fishing. Dave loved to be outdoors and always enjoyed working with his hands. Some of his favorite times were working on his grandpa’s farm, helping friends on various ranches, and even working on his own place. Dave was always giving 100% to other people. He also enjoyed being around his “bonus parents,” Frank and Shirley Leenknecht. For 10 years, Dave and Tina owned and operated Keller’s Klay Korner. Dave and Tina enjoyed square dancing together, as well as other outdoor activities. One of Dave’s favorite memories was the time he took Tina hunting and she shot her first antelope … and Dave’s Chevy Luv. He and Tina did everything together, whether Dave wanted to or not! Family always came first for Dave.
Preceding him in death are his father; his “bonus parents,” Frank and Shirley; a brother; and two nephews. Dave leaves behind his one true love, Tina Keller; his two sons, Hunter Keller and Dexter Keller (Katie); and his most prized possession, his grandson Layne. Also surviving Dave is his mother, numerous brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and, of course, many friends and relatives.
A vigil will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 717 18th St. W., in Billings. Reception will follow.
Dave, I love you so much and I can’t imagine life without you. — your “Sunshine”
Dad, we miss you so much. Our lives will never be the same. — your boys
Papa Dave, you’re in my heart. I love you so much. — Laynebug