James Roy Keller, cherished husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on Sunday, August 28, 2022, surrounded by his family. James was born to James L. and Barbara Keller on February 17, 1946 in Benton Harbor's Mercy Hospital. In October of 1965, James joined the United States Air Force, in which he was extremely proud to serve his country. Stationed in Japan at Fuchu Air Station, James met his wife of 54 years, Takako, as they both worked in communications through Yokosuka Naval base.
The pair married May 15, 1968 at the American Embassy in Tokyo. Once back from Japan, the couple spent a couple months in Bowling Air Force base in Washington, DC where they remained through February of 1969. After leaving Active Duty, James served the rest of his enlistment in the Inactive Reserve, being Honorably Discharged in 1971.
Upon returning to his hometown of Benton Harbor, MI; James worked at Heathkit Corporation in radio repair, a profession he enjoyed very much. When the company ceased operations, James began working at the Battle Creek Federal Center for the Air Force, which later changed hands to the United States Department of Defense. After over 20 years at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, James retired from DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) in April of 2007 with 25 combined years of federal service.
James was a Ham Radio enthusiast, in which he held the title of Extra Class Ham Radio Operator. He described himself as an audiophile, loving all forms of auditory talent, from live music to his grandiose media collection. His favorite pastime was riding motorcycles, and taking long motorcycle trips across the country with his late best friend Harry Williams. James was an active member of the American Legion and the American Legion Riders, as well as being a proud member of the Disabled American Veterans and AMVETS.
James was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Keller, his father James L. Keller, and his brother Steven M. Keller. He leaves behind his wife, Takako Keller, and their five children, Michael (Cassondra) Keller, James P. (Leah) Keller, Mikka (Cory) Dryer, Katherine (Andrew) Keller, and Jonathan (Sarah) Keller. He also leaves behind his beloved niece, Cynthia Keller McIntosh, granddaughter Nayah Wiley and his eight other grandchildren, his sister Linda Pagel, and his pets, Lucky, Diesel, Misty and Morris.
The family will receive friends 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 6th at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek where services to celebrate his life will be held 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 7th. As James was an avid motorcyclist, the family would like to invite any fellow riders to join in the procession to accompany him on his final ride to Fort Custer National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to the DAV-Michigan Chapter and/or the American Legion Post #298. Personal messages for the family and favorite memories of Jim may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.