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Maxine June Keller (Gilchrist)

July 2, 1943 - November 26, 2018

Burial Date: December 8, 2018

Memorial services and reception will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Olathe Elementary Gymnasium on Saturday, December 8, 2018. Micki will be laid to rest at Orchard Mesa Cemetery in Grand Junction next to her mother and father Gordon and Margret Gilchrist

Maxine June Gilchrist Keller, known to friends as Micki, passed away on Monday, November 26, 2018, at age 75.

Born July 2, 1943, in Galveston Texas, Micki graduated from Mapleton High School in Thornton, Colorado, in 1960. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado in 1965 with an emphasis in biology, sociology, and psychology. She returned to WSC for her Education Master’s Degree in 1972 with endorsements in EMH and EH.

In 1966 Micki and her husband Alfred Keller made their home in Olathe, Colorado. She launched her 30-year teaching career in 1969, first at Morgan Elementary School and in 1976 at Olathe Elementary School where she taught kindergarten and special education until her retirement in 1999.

Micki was a devoted member of the Olathe community who spent much time beyond the classroom organizing events including: spelling bees, reading and writing sleepovers, math and science celebrations, Halloween carnivals, playground equipment fundraisers, tutoring programs, and many other educational causes.

Upon retirement, she wrote, “In my thirty years of teaching, I have met and become friends with many fine teachers and employees. I dedicated my life to helping children and found that I could not have chosen a better career… I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have always found MCSD to be supportive and fair. In the end, I have given this district my best through my children who now teach for you.”

Education was important to Micki, and she loved her job, which is probably why so many of her children chose the same career. Micki spent her summers teaching at the local migrant school, teaching swimming lessons, and tutoring. She belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma sorority for educators, the famous Stich & Bitch group of Olathe women who cultivate a community garden and sew items for those in need, and of course, her regular card group. However, if asked what her hobbies were, she would always say her children and grandchildren. She spent her time advocating for what she believed in, and her passion for seeing students pursue higher education was evident in her retirement when she established a local scholarship program awarding an OHS graduate a scholarship for the past 20 years. She funded this scholarship through proceeds from the Friday OES Store, where she became known as the Store Lady.

She lived a wonderful and happy life, was a believer in humanity’s goodness, found ways of doing small acts of kindness, and made it a point to inspire others to do the same. Now that she is no longer with us, let us continue her legacy in honor of the life she lived. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Maxine Keller Memorial Scholarship. Scholarship donations can be made at San Juan Credit Union or online at www.gofundme.com/maxine-keller-memorial-scholarship

Micki was the family matriarch for nearly half a century.  Her family reunions included the Keller, Gilchrist, Bliss, Early, and Adams families.  The entire extended family looked to her for her common sense and crystal, clear honesty. Micki is survived by brothers Barry and Jack Gilchrist; her children Kari (spouse Greg Solseth), Kim, Kathlyne (spouse Steve Gaber), Kris (spouse Jill Keller); her grandchildren Bryce, Brooke, Brenna, Jacob, Jordan, Tevin, Tristi; Alfred Keller and his son Brian and grandchildren Kaitlynn, Logan, and Alexandria.

Memorial services and reception will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Olathe Elementary Gymnasium on Saturday, December 8, 2018. Micki will be laid to rest at Orchard Mesa Cemetery in Grand Junction next to her mother and father Gordon and Margret Gilchrist.