Cover photo for Charles "Charlie" J. Keller's Obituary
Charles "Charlie" J. Keller Profile Photo
1945 Charles 2021

Charles "Charlie" J. Keller

January 22, 1945 — August 8, 2021

Charles Junior "Charlie" Keller died Saturday, August 8, 2021, at his home in Harlingen with his wife, Yvonne, by his side.  He was 76.

He was born January 22, 1945, in Illinois to Charles Vernon and Eula Mae (Tiny) Keller. The family lived many places including Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, Texas and Japan – wherever the Air Force sent them.  Among Charlie’s fondest memories was the three years the family spent at Yokota Air Force Base outside Tokyo.  There, he not only fell in love with Japanese art and culture, he developed a lifelong passion for Boy Scouts.  As a scout in Japan, he was able to climb Mt. Fuji twice and explore Mount Mitake earning almost every badge offered. Charlie went on to be a senior patrol leader and a Life Scout.  As an adult, he served as scout leader for his son and grandson.  He was on Wood Badge training staff, served three years as district commissioner for the Arroyo District of Rio Grande Council of BSA, and took every leader training course available.  Charlie loved scouting. He was most proud that 9 out of 10 boys in his scout troop became Eagle Scouts, including his grandson, Charles. His other grandson, Kyle, also reached the Eagle rank through another troop.

Charlie graduated high school in El Paso and went on to attend Texas Western (now UTEP) to study accounting.  His education was interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968 during the Tet Offensive and was stationed at Fort Sill.  Following his military service, Charlie returned to school on the GI Bill and got his first accounting job with Household Finance Corporation in El Paso. When HFC transferred him to Harlingen in 1971, Charlie met and immediately fell in love with local girl Yvonne Mondragon.  Nine months later they were married and would have celebrated 50 years together this coming March. Charlie’s career took them to Odessa, San Antonio, San Diego, CA, Austin and back to Harlingen. Besides HFC, he  crunched numbers for Flynn Investments, Lumbermen’s, Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems and finally AT&T, where he retired in 2014.

Charlie loved camping, surf fishing from South Padre Island and Boca Chica Beach, and exploring the outdoors.  Family vacations were road trips to every major national park in the West, taking thousands of pictures along the way.  In addition to his scouting involvement, Charlie found time to coach youth soccer, too.  He enjoyed working in his yard, watching old movies, gambling in Vegas and playing cards with friends.  A hamburger was his favorite meal.  Charlie will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Yvonne Mondragon Keller; grandsons, Charles Keller and Kyle Keller; a sister, Connie (Bill) Poland; and brother-in-law, Hugo (Linda) Mondragon.

In addition to his parents, Charlie is preceded in death by his daughter, Mitzi Keller; son, Shon Keller; sister, Marcia Keller; and a brother, Michael Keller.

Visitation will be Thursday, August 12, 2021 starting at 3:00 p.m. at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, with a prayer service conducted by Rev. Fr. Pat Sietz at 6:30 p.m. (Click the link below to view the prayer service via live-stream.) Committal and interment with full military honors will take place on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission, Texas.

In lieu of flower, the family suggests memorial donations be made to St. Anthony’s Catholic School (www.saintanthonyeagles.com) 1015 E. Harrison, Harlingen, TX 78550.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles "Charlie" J. Keller, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, August 12, 2021

3:00am - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Prayer Service

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Starts at 6:30 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment with full military honors

Friday, August 13, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery

South Inspiration Road, Mission, TX 78572

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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