Marie W. Kuehner-Keller

Honored by:Rosemarie Keller Skaine, Warren V. Keller and James C. Skaine
Brick location:A:15  map

Marie W. Kuehner Keller was born to Doniphan, Nebraska, farmer Richard Kuehner and his wife Rosa Bosselman Kuehner, December 24, 1905. On the day before Marie's 21st birthday, she married Warren V. Keller, city employee, Grand Island, Nebraska. Together they had two children, William H. Keller and Rosemarie Keller Skaine.

My mother, Marie, remains the most beautiful woman I have ever known. She shared the severe Great Depression hardships with my father. Marie, mother and wife, also served her country in time of war. She worked in the Defense Plant in Grand Island during World War II. A cart of bombs fell on and broke her ankle. The handle of the cart left a permanent indentation in her leg, a subtle reminder of her personal cost in the war.

Intelligent, caring, and ahead of her time, she lived heroically. If she suffered from any untoward life events, she did so in silence, because I never heard her complain. My mother left a great legacy of love and vision. She said many times "Rosie, get an education. No one can ever take an education away from you." Mother's Defense Plant work substantially contributed to the family funds that provided an education for me. Like her, I married shortly before I was 21.

Many years passed. I earned a master's degree. I presented scholarly papers at professional society meetings where professors encouraged me to pursue a doctorate. My mother's treasured response was "Father, can we find the money so Rosie can get her Ph.D.?" Approaching my middle age, Mother unshakably held her vision that I should be educated. There were ways to attain needed funds to earn a Ph.D. other than through my loving parents, but I chose a different path in life.

She died, her precise unwavering dream seemingly only partially realized. To all who read this tribute, Mother's dream that a woman should be as highly educated as possible, should be every woman's dream if not for herself, then for her children, and therefore her reality. Above all, all women should be allowed to realize their potential in the ways they choose with or without an education.

Many more years passed. Mother's precise dream seed struggled to grow in the fertile soil where she had carefully and deliberately planted it. The torrential rainfalls appeared to flood the seed. But the dream seed knew how to lie "in wait" in search of the fertile soil in which it began. The sun shone. The dream seed burst into a bountiful, beautiful book. Mother very discerningly planted in a world that did not encourage and in some cases, allow women to develop their potential. In 1996, the fruition of her dream seed will be available for all the world to see in my book dedicated to Mother and Father entitled "Power and Gender: Issues of Sexual Dominance and Harassment." To me the world will see my mother and her dream through, me as she intended.

Her devotion to my brother, Bill, was very beautiful. Bill lived his life in rather constant illness. One of my mother's last requests to my father was, "Warren, take care of my Billy." She was Bill's stalwart comforter and example that a person does not choose her own battle, rather she fights the battle handed to her. Thus, my brother lived almost 50 years waging a constant war against a variety of illnesses. Mother was a vigilant leader until the last two years of Bill's life. Her own battle, the battle we must all fight, overcame her in death.

She didn't live long enough to witness the bursting beautiful bounty of my brother. Bill collected coins for a long period in his life. Bill was a financial wizard limited by his illnesses. When the Hunt Brothers attempted to corner the silver market in 1980 and drove the price of silver from about $8 or $9 an ounce to around $40, Bill cashed his coins. Bill's genius enables Father to live the twilight years without financial struggle. My father provided for Bill his entire life and now, in the twilight of my father's life, Bill provides for him. Mother always said, "Your father is a good provider." My family lived the way God intended, each giving the other his and her best thus multiplying its virtue.

Mother lives on through our lives. It is our hope that this tribute to Marie W. Kuehner Keller will help further her legacy of love and vision.

Submitted on 11/7/95