Lilija Keeslar, 84

Lilija Keeslar, 84, of Sturgis, passed away early Sunday afternoon, May 8, 2011, at her home.

She was born Aug. 2, 1926 in Latvia.

Lilija had resided in the Burr Oak and Sturgis area since 1952, coming from a German D.P. camp. She was afforded the opportunity to come to America by the generosity of the Baumeister sisters in Burr Oak.

On Dec. 18, 1954, she married the love of her life, Jacques Myrle Keeslar, in Angola, Ind. He died Feb. 13, 2011.

She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker, and loved to cook. She was a longtime member of Sturgis Church of the Nazarene.

Lilija is survived by a daughter, Mary Cruea of Shipshewana, Ind.; a son, Delmar (Joann) Keeslar of Sturgis; four grandchildren, Elizabeth (Paul) Ream of Burr Oak, Laurie Anne (Ben) Blosser of Burr Oak, Jacques (Rhonda) Cruea of Topeka, Ind., and John Keeslar; 14 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a son-in-law, Michael Cruea; three brothers; and two sisters.

The family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. today at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, and from 10-10:45 a.m. Wednesday at Sturgis Church of the Nazarene, 70031 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis.

Funeral services celebrating the life of Lilija Keeslar will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the church. A graveside committal will follow the service at Burr Oak Cemetery in Burr Oak.

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Keeslar’s memory consider the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.

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