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HomeLocal NewsJ. Robert Keller, 67, Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board, passed away

J. Robert Keller, 67, Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board, passed away

July 31, 1952 - December 21, 2019

PARSIPPANY — John Robert “Bob” Keller, 67, a longtime Parsippany Democratic leader, died on Saturday, December 21 at Saint Clare’s Hospital, Denville, from lung failure.

Bob grew up in the little town of Turtle Creek, Pa, just outside of Pittsburgh. He received a BA from California State University also in PA.

Bob retired from his professional job as an Executive Editor for Standard and Poors/McGraw-Hill 22 years ago, where he was heavily involved in reporting news and pricing used in the oil industry in the northern hemisphere. After his retirement he devoted his time to volunteering and giving back to the community. Keller served as a member of the Parsippany Planning Board and as treasurer of the Morris County Democratic Committee. He is also a former president of the Lake Parsippany Volunteer Fire Department. He was also a Lay Leader at the Parsippany United Methodist Church

“I am saddest over the death of my dear friend Bob Keller, Bob was a mentor to me. He was a kind and caring man who will be missed at the Parsippany United Methodist Church, The Lake Parsippany Fire Department, The Township of Parsippany Planning Board, The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, and the Parsippany Democratic Committee. My thoughts and prayers are with Connie, Jon and Mike.” said Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano.

Gordon Meth, New Jersey Kiwanis District Governor said “I knew Bob for nearly 20 years, both as a Planning Board member and as a Kiwanian. He was a man of ultimate integrity and candor. Time and time again I saw him do the right thing, even when it wasn’t the popular thing to do. He was never afraid to speak his mind either. I will miss him dearly.”

“Bob will surely be missed at Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany. Although at times, we butt heads, we always respected each other and I always valued Bob’s opinions and knowledge. Bob was a big asset to our club, as I had the honor of working with him during my terms as Club President and Foundation President,” said Frank Cahill, President Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

Morris County Democratic Committee Chairman Chip Robinson said “Bob was a man who led when others wouldn’t, and was always willing to stand up for what he believed in. Bob was involved in the Democratic Party throughout his life and ran for council in Parsippany multiple times. He was also a strong advocate for organ donations.”

He sought election to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2013.

Bob Keller

Bob married his best friend, Connie, on March 23, 1974 and they have two sons: Jonathan, 31 and Michael, 26. Bob and Connie were high school sweethearts that met over a pair of red mittens 50 years ago.

In 2002, Bob’s kidneys failed due to complications from diabetes. He received a new kidney that year donated by his best friend and wife, Connie on August 13. As his health failed from other complications the kidney kept working. It was a match meant to be.

The Kellers moved to New Jersey from their hometown, Turtle Creek, PA, and lived in Rockaway for three years before deciding that Parsippany would be the place to settle and buy their first home. The Kellers have lived in Lake Parsippany for 40 years

Bob served on the Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board since 1996 and served as Vice Chairman of the Board as well as Chairman of the minor Site Plan Committee of the Planning Board. He was appointed Chairman in January 2018.

Bob Keller

He was a member of the Lake Parsippany Volunteer Fire Co., Inc. for 37 years. Served as its president for 13 years and has held the offices of vice president, secretary, financial secretary and trustee.

Bob was very active member of New Jersey Sharing Network, and acted as ambassador educating people on organ donation.

Greg Elbin and Bob Keller

Bob was very active member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, a past president of the Club and a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany Foundation. He joined Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany on May 18, 1998. He was named Kiwanian of the Year in 2000 and a George F. Hixson Fellowship recipient. He was also honored with a Tablet of Honor, the highest award that can be presented to an active Kiwanis member. Bob fulfilled the dream of late Alan Gordon, and was instrumental in making one of Kiwanis Club of Parsippany greatest service project, “The Touch-A-Truck.” Along with Touch-A-Truck Chairman Nicolas Limanov, “Touch-A-Truck” was named the Number One Service Project in the New Jersey District Kiwanis Club for 2018 and again at the New Jersey District Convention in 2019, as voted by other New Jersey Kiwanis Clubs.

There will be a Memorial Service for Bob on Saturday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m. at Parsippany United Methodist Church, 903 South Beverwyck Road, Parsippany. Following the service the celebration of Bob’s life will continue at the Lake Parsippany Fire House, 255 Halsey Road, where Bob was a long time member.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his memory to the United Methodist Church Memorial Fund 903 South Beverwyck Road, Parsippany or New Jersey Sharing Network Foundation 691 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974.

His obituary can be found on the Par-Troy Funeral Home website by clicking here.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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