Obituary of Lewis Evans Keller, Sr.
Lewis Evans Keller, Sr. passed from this life to his heavenly home on May 25, 2018, where he will be reunited with Rosalie, his wife of 59 years, and a multitude of family and friends. Lewis will be remembered by all who knew him for his big smile, bright blue eyes, and effervescent personality.
“Senior” is survived by his three children, Lewis Evans Keller Jr., John Frederick Keller, and Victoria Dunning Keller. He also leaves five grandchildren: Brent, Chelsea , Ashleigh , Matthew, and Katherine; and four great-grandchildren: Harper, Hutton, Mason, and Reese.
Lewis was born in Norfolk, Virginia on January 31, 1923, to Roscoe and Augusta Keller. He graduated from Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia, and attended Duke University for two years on a football scholarship before leaving school to pursue a career in business. Shortly after leaving Duke he met Rosalie Jenkins, the love of his life. He and Rosalie were married on October 20, 1950 in Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, VA. For several years they lived in Bronxville, New York, and later relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, where Lewis based his land development business. Lewis and Rosalie raised their three children dividing their time between Palm Beach and White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Over the years Lewis was involved in several businesses, including the import/export of commercial lumber, coal operation, and real estate development. He played golf almost his entire life, attaining a scratch handicap under the coaching of Claude Harmon, and enjoyed membership in several wonderful golf clubs, including The Princess Anne, Virginia Beach, Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York, Seminole, in Juno Beach, Florida, and The Everglades in Palm Beach. In addition to golf, Lewis was an ardent Duke sports fan.
In 1959 He and Rosalie purchased a property called “Oakhurst” in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where he built up a successful thoroughbred racehorse breeding farm, located on the site of America’s first golf course. Following that, with the help of his good friend Sam Snead and golf course architect Bob Cupp, Lewis restored and reopened Oakhurst Links, which had been originally established in 1884. From 1994 to 2010 Oakhurst Links was open to play with historically accurate hickory clubs and gutta percha balls on a course nibbled by a flock of sheep, just as it was in the 1880s.
In his 95 years, Lewis generated a rich collection of memories for his family and friends.
A Celebration of Lewis’ life is planned for Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory Wiggington Rd. Chapel (434) 385-98900
Those wishing to make memorial contributions are asked to consider The American Cancer Society.