Wayne Emery Keltner of Webster County returned to his Creator on March 7, 2020, with family by his side. He was born on March 17, 1925, to Guy and Corlyn (Stees) Keltner, in Pearl City, Illinois. Wayne was one of five children, with sisters Erma (Flack) and Inez (Pierce) and brothers, Lloyd and Harlen. He attended and graduated Pearl City schools and worked on area farms as a young man.
Wayne Keltner met Margaret Hartsock on Aug. 23, 1943, and they were married on April 21, 1946, at the Brethren Fellowship House in Chicago. Wayne served in Civilian Public Service 1945-47. His first assignment was a Forest Service camp in Wellston, Michigan. After their wedding, Wayne was assigned to the newly formed Heifer Project farm (now Heifer International) in New Windsor, Maryland. The couple returned to northern Illinois in 1947 to farm, moving to southern Missouri in 1953; there, Wayne also worked in residential construction.
As a charter member of Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren in Springfield, Missouri, Wayne actively participated nationally and in the district. He joined with his community through PTA and 4-H and volunteered tirelessly with NAMI of Southwest Missouri. Annual volunteering included bell ringing for the Salvation Army, CROP Walk, and food and toy distribution through Crosslines even to the age of 92.
Wayne is survived by son Richard (Cheryl) Keltner; daughters Patricia Hood and Priscilla (Randall) Skeeters; two grandchildren; Angela (Joe) Keltner-Tranchita and Richard (Erin) Keltner; five great-grandchildren; Hailey (Truman), Sierra, Morgan, Gabriella and Gideon; a sister, Inez Pierce (deceased March 16, 2020); many nieces, nephews and friends. In 1977, the Keltner family hosted a Marshfield High School exchange student, Ulrike Heindl Zoerntlein, who resides in Germany. Preceding him in death are his sweetheart, Margaret; his son, Steven; his son-in-law, Edward Hood; his sister, Erma; and his brothers, Lloyd and infant, Harlen.
A family memorial celebration is planned. While it saddens us that due to current global health concerns, we are unable to celebrate publicly, we are grateful for your love and prayers. Memorial funds have been established at Heifer International, Attn: Donor Services, PO Box 8058, Little Rock AR 72203 and Council of Churches, Attn: Crosslines of Springfield, 615 N. Glenstone, Springfield MO 65802.