Obituary of Rodney Everett Keller
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Rodney Everett “Rod” Keller, was born July 30, 1952 in Alta, Iowa. Through adoption, he became the son of Fred William and Evelyn Augusta (Heuer) Keller. He grew up in May City, Iowa; hanging out with his buddies, riding motorcycles and horses, hunting, swimming in the local sand pit or skiing at Lake Okoboji.
Following graduation from Hartley High School, Rod spent the next 3 1/2 years attending the University of South Dakota at Vermillion and St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. His original intent was to become a teacher, but after spending his summers working for various farmers and a local trucking company, he decided to join the ranks of over-the-road-truckers.
Rod married Sue (Vlaming) Langholz who had a son, Shane Langholz, from a previous marriage. To this union was born a daughter, Nicole (Keller) Vlaming.
In 1993, Rod was reintroduced to his high school girlfriend, Karen (Balliet) Uthe. Their friendship evolved into a comfortable relationship, and they were married on June 15, 1997. Together they enjoyed country dancing, boating, motorcycle riding, camping, and deer hunting ventures with Rod’s friends.
Through a natural curiosity, Rod had always wanted to locate his birth family, so Fred helped him out by producing legal papers containing more precise information to help him begin his search. After tapping into several ancestry web sites with no results, Rod made a visit to the public library at Cherokee, Iowa. Knowing he was born in nearby Alta, and that he had two older siblings, he was able to look through the school’s yearbooks and find his sister, Cherie, and brother, Bill. He then placed a personal ad in the Cherokee newspaper asking for the location of his mother along with a number to contact. Two days later, Rod and Karen received a phone call, and, as they say, the rest is history.
In 40-plus years of trucking, Rod always said “he had backed up more miles than most people had driven ahead!”. Memorable trips certainly would include driving to Alaska on three separate occasions, but the friendships he had made with other truckers over the years are what he treasured most.
On Monday, May 1, 2023, Rod passed from this life at the age of 70 years. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Karen; her daughters: Trisha (Jeremy) Pearson and their children: Kaley, Zachary, Mallory, and granddaughter, Paisley; Ashley Daggett (fiancé Kyle Block) and their children: Natalie, Hunter, and Preston Daggett, and Treyton and Kallen Block; his brother, Bill (Linda) Ryan and their children: Derek, Aaron, and Megan, along with their families; his sister, Cherie (Mac) McMullen; other relatives and many friends.