Lorraine Chamberlain Keeler

Lorraine Chamberlain Keeler
Date of Birth: March 14, 1920
Died on: November 01, 2013

Aberdeen, SD-Memorial service for Lorraine Chamberlain Keeler, 93, of Aberdeen will be 2:00 pm, Friday, November 8, 2013 at First United Methodist Church in Aberdeen. The Rev. Eldon Reich will officiate.

A private family inurnment will be in Riverside Memorial Cemetery.

Lorraine passed away Friday, November 1, 2013 in her lifelong home under the care of her son Norman and Avera St. Luke’s North Plains Hospice.

Lorraine Coral Chamberlain was born in Aberdeen on March 14, 1920, to Ralph E. and Lessie (Loucks) Chamberlain and, along with her twin sister, was the youngest of their four children. She grew up in Aberdeen, graduating from Aberdeen Central High School in 1937. Lorraine graduated from Northern State University in 1941 with a B.S. degree in Education. Her training path continued, leading to an M.S. degree from NSU in 1959 and additional training at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and NDSU in Fargo, ND.

On August 15, 1942, Lorraine was united in marriage to Claude Oliver Keeler in Aberdeen. During their 41 years of marriage they raised their four children, cherished seven grandchildren, and enjoyed a full life of friendship and travel with their many Aberdeen area friends.

Lorraine’s teaching career began in 1941 at Barnard, SD and continued for 32 years with service at Gage Rural School, Simmons, Monroe and Holgate Junior High Schools and two summers at NSU.

In addition to her full-time duties as wife, mother, and teacher, Lorraine pursued her passion for service to her church and community. She served for over fifty years as an active volunteer instructor for the Brown County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She earned her Red Cross Instructor Badge in 1937 and taught nearly 10,000 people in the Brown County area in different levels of Water Safety and Lifesaving classes. She also taught First Aid to 2,671 people including firemen, policemen, Boy and Girl Scouts, Scout Leaders, YMCA, YWCA, senior nurses and others. She was very active in First United Methodist Church using her background to teach Sunday school, Bible school, youth fellowship and was Past President of UMW and Altar Guild. Many in the community remember her as chairwoman of the Methodist Rummage Committee for 25 years, raising thousands of dollars for Church Missions. Lorraine was a Past President of Garfield PTA, Aberdeen Education Association, Aberdeen Area Retired Teachers Association and was a longtime Vice President of the South Dakota Retired Teachers Association. She was a life member of NEA, South Dakota Retired Teachers Association, American Legion Auxiliary, Brown County Historical Society and a member of Phi Delta Kappa. Her lifetime of service was officially recognized in 2000 when she was chosen First Lady of Aberdeen by Beta Sigma Phi who select outstanding individuals based on service in areas of Culture, Church, Education and Politics.

Lorraine will be lovingly missed by her children, Norman of Aberdeen, Chuck and wife Barbara (Benning) of Maple Grove, MN, Claudia and husband Dwight Fast of Aberdeen, and Kris and wife Barbara (Buie) of Greensboro, NC. She is also survived by six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, siblings, Robert Chamberlain, Cheryl Myers, Lessie Wardwell, daughter-in-law Carolyn (Rohlfing) Keeler, and grandson Clinton Fast.

In lieu of flowers, Lorraine requested that any memorial be sent to the sender’s charity of choice

Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen. 


  1. To Lorraine’s family: Lorraine was a very special friend to both my mother and me. I always stopped to see her on my inspection trips around the state, and she was always a joy to visit. I remember especially her taking me to a one-room school house north of Aberdeen to watch her teach for a day. It was, and is, a special memory of not only her, but experiencing a now long-gone era. I will also never forget her picking me up in junior high class and slinging me over her shoulder… petticoats flying. I’m sure her show of strength impressed the growing boys in the class and reduced any problems she might have had with them. I will miss the arrival of her Christmas letter, as it signaled time to get moving on the Christmas letter, gifts, and decorating. I like to think of your Dad, my Dad and Mom all greeting her as she arrived at her destination; and sitting down with their happy-hour cocktail and catching up with the news. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you this Friday.

    Pat Hahn

  2. Larry Bulman says:

    To the Keeler Family,
    We were sorry to hear of Lorraine’s passing. She was a wonderful lady, and greatly admired by my mother and our family. We communicated at Christmas and hers was always the first card we received, announcing the upcoming holiday. I’m sure Aberdeen residents feel her loss as well. She was very active in the community and loved by all she touched. My sister still talks about being carried around her health class on Lorrain’s shoulders, billowing petticoats and all. While I’m sure you mourn her passing I’m equally as sure that you must be very grateful for her life and longevity.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Kim Fordham Lien says:

    Mrs Keeler left a lasting impression on my life. As a teacher at Holgate, she instilled in me the importance of giving to and caring for others. She was tough as nails and as kind as an angel. I cherish the time spent at her home enjoying her passion for her Christmas collection and her famous pig collection! My thoughts and prayers are with her family. Sincerely, Kim

  4. PEARL CLAY says:

    I am sorry to read of your family’s loss of dear loved one and would like to extend my condolence to all of you. May ” the God of all comfort ” give your family comfort and strength to endure the sadness that feels your hearts when you loose someone so precious to you, by means of his Kingdom God will bring an end to death and all its sufferings it leaves behind. ( 2 Corinthians 1:3 ; Revelation 21:4 )

  5. Steve Wright says:

    On Phyllis Wright and family we wish to express our condolences to the Keeler family. Lorraine was an exceptional woman and friend. She taught me several lessons in life, one being do NOT snatch food off her table before we ate. Mom has so many wonderful memories of her that she just can’t express at this time in her life but I know she loved her dearly as she does the whole Keeler family. Our thought and prayers are with you guys.


Share your Thoughts