Elinor Rist Duffy Keller, 96, died Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007, at Golden Living Center in Lansing.
Cremation has taken place. Funeral arrangements are pending and will be held at a later date in Havre. She was born Sept. 21, 1910, in the mining town of Zortman and named Eleanor Duffy. She was abandoned at three years old and placed on a train to an orphanage in Great Falls. The conductor of the train, George Rist, took her off the train to his home in Havre where he and his wife, Alice raised her. Elinor attended Havre schools for ten years and graduated from high school at the Ursuline Academy in Great Falls in 1929. She entered nursing training at Sacred Heart Hospital and then anesthesia training at Barnes Hospital in St Louis, Mo., which she completed in 1934. Elinor worked as an anesthetist at Sacred Heart Hospital for twenty years, as an office nurse for doctors Franken and Lacy, and later at the Deaconess Hospital in surgery and obstetrics. She retired in 1966. While working at Sacred Heart she met Frank Keller. They were married on Sept. 1, 1936, at St Jude’s Catholic Church. Elinor and Frank had five sons. Elinor moved from Havre to Leavenworth, Kan., in August 2005 where she was cared for by her son Rich and his wife in their home and later at Golden Living Nursing Center. Elinor loved her faith, family, music, reading, dancing, ice cream, powwows, rides to anywhere, and had many friends, both neighbors and former patients. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank, in 1986. She is survived by her sons, David (Sue) of San Jose, Calif., Richard (Mary Ann) of Leavenworth, Lear (Karen) of West Chicago, Ill., Patrick (Marcie) of Ridgecrest, Calif., and Christopher of Danville, Calif.; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Elinor’s cremation has been arranged by Leintz Funeral Home in Leavenworth, Kan. And funeral service arrangements are being coordinated with Holland & Bonine.