Lawrence Eugene “Larry Pete” Keller
MOUNT HOREB – Lawrence Eugene “Larry Pete” Keller, age 75, of Mount Horeb, passed away on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the home he built for the family he loved.
“Pete” was born on Christmas of 1944 in Verona, the 10th and youngest son of Lawrence Conrad Keller and Stella Crescentia (Sutter) Keller. He graduated from Mount Horeb High School. Larry met Linda, his wife of 46 years, at the Dane County Regional Airport while he was working for Northwest Airlines.
Pete loved taking his “Linda Lou” around to meet his brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews throughout the Mount Horeb area. They rode around on motorcycles and went hot-rodding. They did not lack for adventure. They married on Oct. 28, 1972, in Wisconsin Dells. Together they had two children and settled into a house on the west side of Mount Horeb.
Pete spent most of his career as a self-employed handyman. He repaired shoes, worked as a locksmith, made home repairs, helped to build barns and sheds and poured concrete. He never passed up an opportunity to figure out how to make something work. “Cobbling together a solution” was an ethos.
He longed to see Yellowstone and dreamed of taking a train ride along the west coast. He made several trips to California over the last several years and got to see some of the set pieces and artifacts from the golden age of the Hollywood western.
Pete loved his westerns and the Old West. Movies, television shows, books… he couldn’t get enough stories where an honest man tries to do what’s right, and sometimes, even wins. He turned his ATV 4-wheeler into a rolling western museum. He collected firearms and became an armchair aficionado of pistols and rifles.
If you worked at Copper Top or Schubert’s, you knew Pete as the man who would ask for a “dime’s worth of coffee” and someone who “always had room for pie.” And when he asked if you “cared who paid the bill,” hopefully by the fourth or fifth time you knew he was gonna ask you to pay it.
When he was happy, Pete would whistle and sing. He enjoyed going to the Badger Steam & Gas show each year. He liked driving off to gun shows with relatives and friends. He’d never hesitate to find a shortcut that couldn’t prolong the trip just a little bit longer, so he could enjoy the company.
Pete’s granddaughter will never forget all of the cars that grandpa had for her to play with and will miss going for rides on his walker. Pete’s grandson got to see grandpa’s smile and hear his laughter enough to know how special he was.
His daughter will always remember his kind, blue eyes and how they’d crinkle up at a joke. She will be grateful for what he taught her about hard work, perseverance and finding time for play.
His son will forever be thankful for an apprenticeship in tinkering and whistling, and the constant urging to speak up and be heard.
Both will forever love the father who worked so hard, for so long, and who gave so much of himself to provide and support all that we do. “We will miss you forever daddy. We will do all we can to honor you and all that you believed in.”
Pete is survived by daughter, Sara (Abraham) Welle; son, Christopher (Shawn) Keller; sister, Rosemary (Joseph) Vargas; brother, James Keller; granddaughter, Estelle Lynn; grandson, Isaiah Lawrence; and many cousins, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Linda Kaye; mother, Stella Crescentia (Sutter) Keller; father, Lawrence Conrad Keller; brother, Paul J.; sister, Dolores C. (Harold) Laufenberg; sister, Loretta M. (Butch) Statz; brother, Wallace E. (Shirley); Betty Jane C. (Dwayne) Dougherty; brother, Raymond L.; and sister, Mary Ellen (Rolland) Buechner.
The family is planning a proper memorial service for later this summer after the effects of the current national health emergency have subsided. In the meantime, please do all that you can to help others during this stressful and extraordinary time. Check in on your elderly or lonely neighbors, offer to get them groceries, volunteer with a food pantry or donate to your local Meals on Wheels.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
And he will raise you up
On eagle’s wings
There you are
The breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of his hand
Gunderson Camacho Mount Horeb
Funeral & Cremation Care
500 N. Eighth St.