Carlene Keefer

Carlene Keefer

Carlene Keefer, 98, died Sept. 24, 2020 in Salida with her loving daughter at her side. 

She was born July 20, 1922, in Wheatland, Wyoming to Augusta and John Berg. 

While still in high school she married Harry Cummings and to them was born a daughter, Diane, on January 4, 1939.

She graduated from Wheatland High School in 1940 and attended many all school and class reunions until 2020. 

She married Hilly Fender in 1943 and 3 daughters were born to this marriage. 

The family moved from Wyoming to Salida in 1955. 

She assisted her husband managing their gasoline transport trucks, typing orders and shuttling truck tires and parts. 

She also checked groceries at the Boys’ Market and managed the serving staff at the Spa Restaurant, now the Uptown Grill. She enjoyed serving restaurant customers and treated them as her private guests.

The year all three Fender girls were in high school at the same time, Carlene said were some of the happiest days of her life. 

Being a skilled and talented seamstress for the girls all their lives she was now sewing prom formals, dresses for all special occasions, and cheerleading uniforms. In the years to come she also made their wedding dresses. 

In 1975 Carlene married Chuck Keefer and moved to Dutch John, Utah where Chuck was employed by the Bureau of Reclamation. 

With this marriage Carlene welcomed two stepdaughters and eventually more grandchildren.  

After Mr. Keefer’s retirement the couple spent years traveling in their RV with trips to Mexico, Florida, Texas, Alaska, all the west coast states. 

After his death, Carlene returned to her childhood home of Wheatland. 

At the age of 89 Carlene toured England, Scotland, and her ancestral home of Ireland. 

While visiting her daughter in Salida in January 2017, she suffered a stroke and, no longer able to live alone, once again became a resident of Salida.

Friends and family said she loved the Lord and anticipated seeing the Father and Jesus at the end of her earthly journey and also the loved ones who had gone ahead. 

Mrs. Keefer was a member of the Red Hat Society over 20 years and attended society meetings wherever she lived. 

Friends and family said she lived the society motto “Life is short, eat dessert first!“

Mrs. Keefer was preceded in death by her parents; daughter Diane; three husbands; stepbrother Kirby; stepdaughter Deb Keefer; and granddaughter Jenette Collett.  

Survivors include daughters Judy Ann Fender of Salida, Joy Wilhelm of Wheatland, Wyoming, Happy (Jess) Cantrell of Casper, Wyoming; stepdaughter Sandy (Craig) Collet of Dutch John, Utah; grandchildren Melody (Craig) Nottage, Rodney (Nyla) Wilhelm, Louise (Tony) Kiser, Tonya Younger, Leisl (Ron) Sanders, Chris (Janalee) Collett, Danielle Kinder (John Hull), Camille (Ken) Browning, Maretta (Woody) Bair, Chelsey (Tanner) Davis, Vanessa (Bill) Coulter, Nicole (Randy) Knafic, Mickey Nussbaumer; numerous great grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 9, 2020, at First Christian Church in Wheatland followed by interment in Wheatland Cemetery in the family plot. 

In lieu of floral gifts the family requests donations to the Salida Pregnancy Resource Center and First Christian Church of Wheatland. 

Arrangements were with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home. 

Online condolences may be offered to the family at lewisandglenn.com.

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