Wilhelmine Keeler (“Willi”, “Ma”) peacefully left us for the loving arms of our father late Sunday May 15, 2022.
Born May 31, 1930, in München, Germany, she grew up in a world in turmoil. Her father had to marry several times, bringing younger stepchildren into the family. It was there that she learned how to protect and care for children, which turned out to be such a gift to all of us. It was a difficult childhood, but it also made her the toughest person any of us ever knew (by a long shot!!!) The allies marching into München just before she turned 15 was really the beginning of her life. She was finally able to live in relative freedom and took full advantage of that! She met our father (Pa) in the Hofbräuhaus tent at the Oktoberfest on September 30, 1956, and it was love at first sight for both. Theirs was a love story for the ages, and they spent almost forty-two happy years together before his death in 1998. After marrying, they crisscrossed the ocean between Germany and the US several times while he served our country in the US Army before retiring in 1971. They bought their home in Lakewood Washington in 1969, where she lived until her death. They turned their yard into a wildlife sanctuary, feeding countless birds, deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and possums, and taking in stray cats, which Ma continued to do until the end. She took care of the animals before she even got her coffee!
Preceded in death by husband Frank M and step-grandson Steve Johnson. Survived by sister Irmi Scharrer, daughters Elisabeth Stoner and Karin Johnson (Rick), son Frank Keeler (Krissy), granddaughter Dacia (Ryan), grandsons Brendan Stoner, Frankie Keeler (Pam), and San Stoner, great-grandsons Connor and Brayden, niece Sonja Scharrer, numerous step-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren, and step-great-great-grandchildren.
Ma dedicated her life to her children and grandchildren, who all thrived on her nurturing. Every single one of us secretly (or not so secretly) believes we are her favorite, and none of us is wrong. Her love gave new meaning to the word “unconditional”. Our lives and hearts will forever miss her, but we are grateful and at peace looking back on her long, love-filled life, knowing she stayed strong and independent until the end. What a beautiful legacy of love she has left us! Ma, you loved us all as long as we have lived, but we will love you our whole lives.
Interment with her husband at Tahoma National Cemetery is a private, family only goodbye, but we would love to see any family and friends at her Celebration of Life June 20 in Lakewood, WA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or questions. We’ll have lots of stories, memories, and love to share and would welcome any of the same from you!
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Wilhelmine