Peacock Tales • Winter 2018

 

Charles C. Keller Retires at 94

 

The halls of Peacock Keller have a different feel these days. In July of 2017, Charles C. Keller, one of the   founding partners of Peacock Keller & Ecker,LLP, retired after more than 65 years of legal practice. At 94 years old, many of us would enjoy retirement and days that no longer consisted of the 9 to 5 grind, but not Mr. Keller. Mr. Keller came to the office every single day, until his retirement, and greeted everyone with his signature grin and boisterous "Good Morning." To refer to Mr. Keller as a retired attorney would do a disservice to him and the community he cherished and served. Mr. Keller grew up in California PA, a community along the Monongahela River that to this day remains near and dear to his heart. His father was an English professor at the local university, now known as California University of Pennsylvania, from which Mr. Keller graduated with bachelors degrees in English, Social Science and Geography. While in school, Mr. Keller received the Distinguished Service Award for his involvement in an array of clubs and activities on campus. This award would serve as the cornerstone of Mr. Keller’s philanthropic future.

In World War II, Mr. Keller served as a B-17 bomber pilot. He flew 35 missions over Western Europe and describes them with such detail that you feel as if you were in the plane with him. Luckily, Mr. Keller and his crew were able to withstand a direct hit from German flack on one of those 35 missions, allowing him to return safely to Western Pennsylvania.

After the war, Mr. Keller attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Upon graduation, Mr. Keller joined his local Rotary club in 1950 and it was during one of those early Rotary meetings that he would meet his future law partner, Ralph Peacock. Mr. Keller’s commitment to Rotary would shape the man we all know today. Mr. Keller served in a variety of offices, from president of the local California PA Rotary club to President of Rotary International. Under his presidency, Mr. Keller’s vision for Rotary was "United in Service - Dedicated to Peace."

 

Mr. Keller and his first wife, Mary Lou, built a family as he pursued his legal career. In all, Mr. Keller and Mary Lou would have four children. After many years of marriage, Mary Lou passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. If you have had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Keller, you have more than likely heard him say that he has been lucky enough to have two great loves in his life. A decade after Mary Lou passed, Mr. Keller would fall in love and marry his second wife, Carol. Together, Mr. Keller and Carol continue to make the most out of life, cherishing each other and the time they have, particularly by celebrating their anniversary on a monthly basis.

Throughout Western Pennsylvania, Mr. Keller’s civic, legal and Rotarian accomplishments abound. An Eagle Scout himself, Mr. Keller spent decades deeply involved in the Boy Scouts of America. He has served on innumerable hospital, health care, government and civic boards and in 2006, the Washington County Community Foundation named him Philanthropist of the Year. The Foundation also annually recognizes local
for-profit businesses with the Charles C. Keller Corporate Philanthropy Award, in honor of his exemplary giving and community service. Mr. Keller has always lived by the philosophy of giving 100% of himself to any organization in which he is invol ved, be it a non-profit board, the legal community or the military, with three simple words, "service above self."

When each new person joined Peacock Keller, Mr. Keller served as the unofficial welcome wagon. He would explain that the office was never short on food and that cookouts and pot-luck lunches were commonplace. He also informed new employees that at the firm holiday party, they were expected to stand and sing selected holiday songs. Lucky for them, Mr, Keller’s amazing singing voice, perfected by years of singing hymns in church, would prevail, so the embarrassment was minimal. 

May we all have lives as full, and as fulfilling, as Mr. Keller has had.

 

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Peacock Keller, LLP • 70 East Beau Street • Washington PA 15301 • 724-222-4520