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GARY RICHARD (GRIZZ) KELLER

Gary Richard Keller, 66, of Moore, Idaho, passed away peacefully at his home on February 20, 2024.  Born in Idaho Falls, Idaho on July 28, 1957, he was the fourth and youngest child of Richard and Louise Keller of Shelley, Idaho.  The family moved to Moore, Idaho, in 1966.  Gary attended Moore Elementary School.  During his childhood, Gary enjoyed fishing and camping at the Moore Diversion, riding motorcycles and snowmobiles and driving old trucks.  Gary started playing GridKid Football in junior high school which was followed by 4 years of football at Butte County High School, graduating in 1976.  Gary accepted a 2-year scholarship at Treasure Valley Community College (Chuckers) in Ontario, Oregon.  He played first string from 1976-1978.  He then accepted a football scholarship at Montana Tech (Orediggers) in Butte, Montana.  Gary played a defensive tackle position from 1979-1980.   In 1979, the Montana Tech football team won the Frontier Conference Championship.  The team became known as “The Legends” because of their undefeated record.  Gary was named as All Conference Defensive Tackle.  He graduated in 1982 with a B.A. Degree in Society and Technology. In 2018, because Montana Tech’s football record still stands, a commemorative ceremony was held at Montana Tech. Gary and his former teammates were honored and they were each presented with a football jersey signed by all teammates and a championship ring.  

After college, Gary moved to Des Moines, Iowa to work for Armstrong Tires and later moved to Mishawaka, Indiana to work for UniRoyal Tires. Gary returned to Idaho in 1991, working for Cobalt Mining Co. as a heavy equipment operator.  He also worked for Idaho Gold mine in Arco and the Kennecott Copper mine in Utah. In 1996, Garys son, Michael Tanner was born. He returned to Moore, Idaho in 2003, working for King Mountain Supply and as a ditch rider for Lost River Irrigation.  He worked at the U.S. Calcium Mine near Mackay, Idaho until his retirement in 2020.

Gary is survived by his son, Michael Tanner Comstock Keller of Seattle, Washington, sister Katherine (Rulon) Hawker of Casper, Wyoming, sister Deborah (Brent) Blackhurst of Oceanside, California, brother Randall Keller of Moore, Idaho, two nephews and 3 nieces.  He was preceded in death by his parents and a niece.

A Celebration of Life will be held on May 18, 2024 at the Valley Community Center, 3353 W 3155 N Moore, Idaho 83255. The celebration will start at 11:00 am.

8 thoughts on “GARY RICHARD (GRIZZ) KELLER”

  1. I will always remember him ‘stuffing’ me into my locker in HS & his laugh as he walked off leaving me to be rescued by someone else! He was a gentle giant loved by many!

    1. Debbie Keller Blackhurst

      Charlee,
      Sounds like something Gary would do, thank you for the memory . He was a gentle giant that we will miss ❤️
      Debbie Keller Blackhurst

  2. Keller family. Sorry for your loss. Found memories of Griz . He always had a fabulous smile. Sincerely Jeff and LaRae Allen Challis

  3. Debbie Keller Blackhurst

    Jeff and LaRae,
    We are heartbroken but know he’s in a much better place. His smile keeps us smiling❤️
    Thank you,
    Debbie

  4. Came to Butte in the early 80’s from New Jersey Big Man as I called him was one of the first players I met.he was very kind and understanding. As time went on saw that he is and was a great man.

    1. Debbie Keller Blackhurst

      Thank you Tim Flournoy, we will miss our little brother. He loved his Montana Tech football teammates.
      Debbie Keller Blackhurst

  5. Cousin- Frank Young and Family

    We send our love and deepest sympathies to you and your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

    1. Debbie Keller Blackhurst

      Thank you Frank and family. Losing a sibling is hard, we’ll miss our little brother but know he’s in a better place. God bless.

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