Landmarks 04

Christine I. (Lienard) Keller

April 2, 1942 ~ September 22, 2022 (age 80) 80 Years Old


Christine Ingeborg Gertrude Keller, passed away peacefully from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on September 22, 2022, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Christine is remembered by all who knew her as generous, kind, free-spirited, and funny. A lover of animals, plants, and nature, she was most at home when walking outside or working in her garden.

The beloved spouse of John M. Keller and mother of Dominique and Anne was born in Lyon, France on April 2, 1942, to Blanche and Roger Lienard. Infancy saw Christine thrust into the chaos of World War Two, as her father was in the French army: the family lived in Paris, Lyon, Tulles, Marseille, and Toulon. Christine and her siblings Anita, Edwige, Barbara and Vivien were very close to their mother and this bond allowed them to weather the often-difficult living conditions of military families, especially during wartime occupation.

Christine began the first of many academic pursuits by obtaining a degree in neurophysiology from the University of Aix/Marseille. Later in life she received her master’s degree in library science from the Catholic University in Washington D.C. and a certificate in horticulture while the family was living in Melbourne, Australia.

Ever one to explore, after finishing at the University of Aix, Christine moved to Dalat, Vietnam to teach science to secondary school students at the Lycee Yersin. She was well liked by her charges, who still remember her daring trips in her Citroen Deux Chevaux car to various parts of Vietnam, even as the tensions were escalating in the country. It was in Dalat that Christine met John, a U.S. Foreign Service officer, and they were married in 1968 in Vatican City. Life in the Foreign Service would see them living in Rome, Italy; Washington D.C., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Kingston, Jamaica; Milan, Italy, and Melbourne.

In 1991, Christine fulfilled the trip of a lifetime and travelled around Australia accompanied by a pet mouse before moving to State College, PA to join Anne and John who had moved there after John retired from the Foreign Service.  Christine worked for several years as a medical and science librarian at the Penn State University library.  Christine spent her free time in State College volunteering at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and gardening, spending as much time as possible outside in nature.

Christine’s sweet and quirky nature will be missed, but the lasting impacts she had on those of us who were privileged to know her well will be remembered forever.

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