YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Centenarian and longtime Yorktown matriarch Nellie Ruth (Grubb) Keller died peacefully at her residence Tuesday morning, Feb. 17. She was 106.
Keller was born in Malta, Ohio, on Aug. 11, 1908, on the edge of Appalachia's coal mining country before moving to New York City and an international corporate life, marrying Clarence Christian Keller, raising seven children and outliving three of them.
Keller played the piano for the Yorktown Presbyterian Church Sunday school, served as PTA president and Girl Scout leader.
During the Second World War she worked in her family's liberty garden and at canning and preserving endless vegetables. Later she shared her experience and taught her interested grandchildren how to preserve a whole chicken in a quart jar and how to make soap out of bacon grease.
Keller was a devoted member of the Peekskill Garden Club, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a member of the Country Club of Winter Haven, Fla. She was an avid golfer, bridge player and crossword puzzler.
Keller lived independently in her home until she was 103. In 2012, when managing her property finally became too much, she moved to the Seabury at Field Home in Yorktown.
Keller was a beloved matriarch: a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. In addition to her brother James Grubb and many nieces and nephews, her children and their direct descendants number well over 100.
Keller was the wife of the late Clarence Christian Keller and the mother of Jacquelyn Gilbert, Barbara Wilkens, Patricia Button, Christian Keller, Sarah Filippini, Lee Keller and Marjorie Sitney.
A burial service for Nellie Keller will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown on Friday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m.
A memorial service honoring her life is planned for next month.
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