Janice Hamilton Keeler, a farmer’s daughter, made the final stop in her journey through life on March 9, 2022. Her first stop began in Riverton, Utah, to loving parents Eldred and Violet Hamilton; as the second daughter of six girls.
Growing up on a large ranch, there was plenty of work to do. She cared for the chickens, herded sheep, hoed and topped sugar beets; which was a perfect training ground, as she later became a Jordan High School Beet Digger. It was there that she encountered a handsome young man in band who would wink at her from across the room. Years later, she fell in love with that trumpet player and basketball star, Richard Keeler. She then attended BYU, and Richard served in the Korean War. Janice married that handsome winker, the love of her life, in the Manti Temple on July 17, 1952. They lived in Provo Utah, Columbus Ohio, Bozeman Montana, and Ames Iowa while Richard finished his doctorate in Biochemistry and began his research. They later moved to Logan Utah, and eventually settled in Nibley, where they resided until Richard passed away in 2009. Janice then moved to the Town Center Villas in North Logan for nine years and finally to Maple Springs where she lived until her death.
Janice and Richard are survived by 5 children and their spouses: Francesca and Randy Jensen of Littleton CO, Adrienne and Rick Lungman of North Logan UT, Paul and Shannette Keeler of Plain City UT, Jolene and Curtis Jacobs of North Logan UT, and Maria and Kirk Hoth of Smithfield UT. In addition, she leaves behind 18 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild; as well her two living sisters - Carolyn Klopfer and Coleen Hamilton.
While Janice had many gifts and talents, her primary focus was on being a good mother, which she succeeded at masterfully. She made home happy. She made home heaven. Perhaps her biggest achievement was remaining sane while raising five rambunctious children close in age. Her most effective tool to restore harmony in the home when they did not get along was to line them up and insist they sing “Love at Home.” As a result of this oft-repeated practice, the children learned to sing it backwards and forwards, but most preferred singing it sarcastically in a minor key. Janice delighted in spending time with her family and loved ones. They were the joy of her life. It was her quick wit and humor that created a home filled with much joy, laughter, and fun. They were known to laugh so hard that tears ran down their legs.
A favorite motto that Janice lived by was, “People are more important than things.” She believed that every person she met was an opportunity to extend love. Her children were blessed to grow up in a home where they saw their angel mother spending her life lifting up the hands that hung down, making endless trips down lanes to visit widows, delivering bread and meals to the sick and needy, and writing beautiful poems to those facing adversity and loss. She spent her time lifting the burdens of others with Christlike love, beautiful words, and quiet gentle grace - acts she did without realizing anybody was watching. It was just who she was. And in those silent teachable moments she taught those around her how to serve, how to love, and how extend grace and charity. No vocal sermon needed to be offered, as her sermon came from her example. Those who knew her saw Christ in the way she lived her life.
Janice was a gentle peacemaker at heart. She loved the beauty of the world her, and constantly marveled at God’s creations, including the spectacular Cache Valley sunsets against the Wellsville mountains. She found great joy working in her beautiful flower garden, arranging flowers and sharing those arrangements with others. She loved to write poetry for family occasions, for others people, church and civic events, including the words to the Mountain Crest school song. She also composed beautiful music for many occasions. She loved to decorate and create. She enjoyed cooking delicious meals which she could pull together out of nothing.
Just as the angel exclaimed to George Bailey in old the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we too are left to proclaim, “You see Janice Keeler, you really had a wonderful life.” Janice truly made the world a beautiful place and the world will be a little bit darker without her in it. Her family looks forward to a glorious reunion in the sweet bye and bye. There is comfort in the words from one of her original songs, “How thin the veil to life beyond, it is no barrier to love.” She has left a shining legacy. Her light and example are like the North Star, guiding the path to Eternity.
There will be a viewing on Saturday, March 19th, for friends and family at Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 East Center Street in Logan Utah from 10:30-12:00. A Graveside service will follow at 12:30 p.m. at the Logan City Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held for her family at the Logan LDS Institute of Religion located at 600 Darwin Avenue at 2:00 p.m. That celebration will be available available through the following link.