Elinor Rist Duffy Keller died peacefully on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007, at the Golden Living Center in Lansing.
She was born on Sept. 21, 1910, in Zortman, Mont. She was abandoned at the age of 3 and placed on a train to an orphanage in Great Falls, Mont. The conductor of the train, George Rist, took her off the train to his home in Havre, Mont., where he and his wife, Alice, raised her. Elinor attended Havre schools for 10 years and graduated from high school at the Ursuline Academy in Great Falls, Mont., in 1929. She entered training to be a nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital in Havre. She then entered training in anesthesia at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., which she completed in 1934.
Elinor worked as an anesthetist at Sacred Heart Hospital in Havre for 20 years, and later at the Deaconess Hospital in surgery and obstetrics. She retired in 1966.
While working at Sacred Heart in Havre, she met Frank Keller. They were married on Sept. 1, 1936, at St. Jude's Catholic Church. She has five surviving sons, David of San Jose, Calif., Richard of Leavenworth, Lear of West Chicago, Ill., Patrick of Ridgecrest, Calif., and Christopher of Danville, Calif. She was blessed with eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Frank in 1986.
Elinor moved from Havre to Leavenworth in August 2005, where she was cared for by her son Rich and his wife in their home and later at the Golden Living Center in Lansing. Elinor loved her faith, family, music, reading, dancing, ice cream, pow-wows and rides to anywhere. She also had many friends, both neighbors and former patients.
Elinor's cremation was arranged by R.L. Leintz Funeral Home in Leavenworth. The funeral service arrangements were coordinated with Holland and Bonine in Havre, Mont., where Elinor will be buried with her husband Frank.