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Gisela Keller

January 19, 2013

Funeral Service:

A private funeral service will be held at Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo, ND. Donations can be made in Gisela's name to Elim Care Center, Fargo, ND or to Hospice of the Red River Valley.


Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

Gisela Keller

January 19, 2013


Gisela Keller, age 93, passed away January 19, 2013 at Elim Care Center in Fargo, ND, where she had been a resident since 2010.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Udo and her son, Gero. She is survived by her son, Ingo, Carola (Richard) Olson, Lakeville, MN, Uta (Mike) Kremer, Morgan Hill, CA; 3 grandchildren, Anna, Christopher and Desiree and 3 great grandchildren, Harrison, Logan and Isabella.

Gisela Clara Schilling was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1919 to Gertrud and Gerhardt Schilling. She married Udo Keller in 1941.

After the war, the family faced many hardships and with Gisela’s strong faith in God and her spirit of optimism, she was able to navigate through her life’s journey. In 1956 they immigrated to the US along with their 3 children, Gero, Uta, and Ingo. They settled in Frazee, MN and later in Fargo, ND.

Gisela was a woman of many interests and talents. She loved to learn. She was unable to finish her studies in war time Germany and at age 62, she finished her studies at NDSU earning a Bachelor’s degree. She received her Master’s degree in 1986 from NDSU at the age of 67.  During that time she was also employed by the NDSU Varsity Mart Bookstore.

Gisela was passionate about history, in particular, researching her family tree. Over the years, she collected data on her family dating back to the 14th century. In the mid 1960s, she added to her collection of family history by hand painting on fine china the coat of arms of each family spanning 14 generations.  This became an important part of her 36 year study of family history. During the research of her ancestors, she also learned about the history and geography of the time. This inspired her to write about her own life history to pass on to her children. Her story appeared in several publications including the Heritage Review, Minot, ND.

Gisela also traveled extensively all over the world after retirement often exploring remote places where she was the only Caucasian.  She retired from NDSU at age 75 where she was head of the book department at the Varsity Mart.

Gisela followed a family tradition of supporting the community and in 2001, she made a generous endowment to the NSDU Development Foundation in memory of her husband, Udo Keller.

The family extends their deep gratitude to the staff of Elim Care Center, especially Station 2, for their loving care and kindness, and to Hospice of the Red River Valley.


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0 responses to “Gisela Keller”

  1. Mike Kremer says:

    MORGAN HILL CA – CaliforniaGisela was a very inspirational woman. When I met the Keller family in 1965, I was enthralled and intrigued by her fearlessness and sense of adventure. Sunday afternoon dinners were always an interesting experince as she spun her stories while the family enjoyed her excellent German cooking. I came to understand that it was her fearless nature, her sense of adventure and her determination that brought the family to the US and ensured their success. She will be missed very much!

    Mike Kremer

  2. DeLynda Tappe says:

    Fargo North Dakota
    My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I hope the happy memories of your mom will help you through this very difficult time. My thought are with you.


  3. Emily Kulland says:

    Fargo ND
    Ingo, Carola, and Uta,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I was so sorry to hear about your Mom. When I first met your Mom she was in her 60’s and I was amazed that she was still so eager to learn. I enjoyed our visits together when we were neighbors on 11th street.

  4. Larry & Linda Ottesen says:

    West Fargo ndDearest Ingo,
    So sorry to hear of your Mom’s death.
    Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very sad time. If there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to let us know

  5. Al & Nora Nelson says:

    Fargo ND
    So glad to have had the priviledge to get to know your mom. Like everyone has said she was such a very sweet lady. Got a kick out of her when she would invite me in for a slough of egg nog at Charistmas time . Enjoyed her lots as a neighbor and friend. I’m sure you have a lot of good memories of her to ponder over. Pray that God will give you peace and comfort as she has gone home to be with her maker.

  6. Dennis Kooren says:


    I feel blessed to have gotten to know your mother, through you , through delivering to the Varsity Mart (and home), but especially in our shared wonderlust of visiting remote regions of the earth.
    She is a very special lady who has raised very special children. Karen and I will be praying for you and your family during this time of passing.
    Your fellow UPSer,

  7. Don & Kim Radeck says:

    fargo ND
    Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    Kim and Don Radeck

  8. Todd Thue says:

    Savage mnCarola,Ingo and Uta I am very sorry to hear about your mother passing away. She was a wonderful and loving lady. She is in a Great place now! I will always have fond memories of her. with deepest sympathy Todd

  9. Katie Wangstad says:

    Fargo, ND
    Es tut mir so leid. I am so sorry. Your family does not know me, but I feel your loss. I would like to tell you how I know your beautiful loved one, Gisela.

    I am a German teacher in Fargo, ND
    at South High School and Carl Ben Eielson Middle School. In 2011 and 2012 I spent some time with your dear Gisela. I called the activities director at Elim to ask if my German Club students could come sing Christmas carols in English and German with the residents. The man told me there was told there was a woman with memory issues who was saying some things that they thought were in German. He wondered if I would be willing to spend some time talking with her. Thus began my friendship with Gisela.

    When I first met Gisela, I introduced myself and she smiled at me as I shook her hand. In English I asked her how she was, but she didn’t reply. I started speaking German to her and her eyes lit up. They twinkled with delight. In German I asked her if she was getting enough to eat and drink. Her reply was “Ja.” Auf Deutsch I asked her if the people at the nursing home were kind to her and she nodded and told me “Ja” again.

    Gisela was then silent for a long time, so I talked to her in German and she held my hand. I told her about myself, my family, my pets, my trips to Germany, the weather, and anything else I could think of at the time. I know she understood me, at least some of the time, because she would nod or shake her head or my hand. She was communicating with me the way she could. She was a captive audience and didn’t mind hearing my stories. While I asked her to tell me things about herself, she was unable to do so. She believe she wanted to talk, but the words wouldn’t come out. I think she understood me in English and German. Her favorite was when I sang German folk songs to her, because she would squeeze my hand.

    When I visited Gisela, we did different things. Once we went out in the courtyard for about five minutes on a warm day. She loved the sunshine, birds, trees, grass, blue sky, etc. I always pushed her in her wheel chair to see the birds in the cage and go for a walk in the halls. We would try to see the dogs in the halls too. She would grin at those hounds! Germans typically love flowers, so I made sure she had those on her birthday when I visited and I found a small German flag that I hung on her bulletin board in her room.

    My daughters came to visit Grandma Gisela, as they called her, once. She was glad to see some youth, even though they were 16 and 19 years old at the time. We all enjoyed visiting with Gisela’s roommate too.

    I wish I had known Gisela when she could talk more. It would have been interesting to talk with her about her life in Germany. I found a lot of information about her and her husband on the ND
    SU Germans from Russia website which was very interesting to read. What a remarkable lady Gisela was! I can’t believe she worked until she was 75 years old at the Varsity Mart at ND

    My German Club students came to Elim twice. The first time we sang a couple German children’s songs and spoke some simple conversations around Gisela. The second time we went caroling. We went into the worship area where residents were playing Bingo and did a sing-a-long. Gisela didn’t sing, but she beamed and radiated joy.

    It was an honor spending time with your mother and grandmother. What a truly special Frau she was! She will be missed. When I was initially told her name by the gentleman who works at Elim, I knew it was meant to be. You see, my name at German Camp as a child was Gisela, so I knew our meeting was divinely planned. Now my namesake is at peace. Please know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I extend my condolences and deepest sympathy to you.

    Katie Wangstad

  10. Tom and Joan Humphrey says:

    Houston TexasIngo–
    So very sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. She was always such a classy lady–and with an amazing history!! We often think of your family–all of you. It was so good catching up with you last summer we’ll try to connect again this summer.
    Tom and Joan Humphrey

  11. Renee Kapaun says:

    West Fargo ND
    Gisela’s Family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I met Gisela years ago when she worked at the ND
    SU Varsity Mart. My Grand Father was born in Germany and Gisela was so very kind to help me decipher his Birth Certificate which was all in German. She was a wonderful lady.

  12. gary johnson says:

    moorhead mn.Ingo,i am sorry to hear about your mother passing. Just remember all the good times you had. gary

  13. Joe & Wanda Omodt says:

    Fargo Ingo, Carola, Uta — I am ver sorry for your loss. I Will always have very fond memories of our families together…Joe

  14. Ruth Reimers says:

    Horace ND

    I met you when I worked for Phil Watson and you worked for UPS. Then, Anderson & Bottrell and I would see you and waive or honk. You are such a nice man.

    I am sure you will miss your mother. Our last discussion was at Walmart and we discussed your mother and your concerns for her health and care.

    So, sorry for your families loss. I am sure you will miss your mother, but try to remember the good days and hopefully these will bring you some comfort. I lost my mother to dementia in 2008 and still miss her everyday.

    I have been retired for over a year now, but, maybe I will run into you somewhere in town.

    With Deepest Sympathy

  15. Mark A. Matthews says:

    Jasper INI only met Giesla a few times, the most recent being in 2010. The smile on her face was as real as the warmth from her heart. Giesla has gone home now to her beloved husband Udo and son Gero. Giesla will be sadly missed by many, as many she have touched. Giesla still lives through the lives of her children. When someone we love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. With Deepest Sympathy, Mark A. Matthews

  16. Roni Lillehaugen says:


    I am so sorry for your loss – I know how much you loved and cared for your mother. I pray that you find peace and comfort in all of the wonderful memories you have of your mom.

    You were a good son to her – she was lucky to have had you in her life!


  17. Robin Nagle says:

    Fargo ND
    Dear Ingo & Family,
    I am so sorry to hear that Gisela has passed away. I always loved her and the wonderful stories we used to share over the years and how she was always so patient in trying to teach me to speak German. She always had such a beautiful smile on her face all the time and I know how much you all loved her so. May god bless you all during this very difficult time and know you all are in my prayers.

  18. Linda and Wes Briggs says:

    Dear Ingo and Family:
    Please accept our deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother. Mothers are very special people and will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Please know that we will be thinking of you during this difficult time.
    Linda and Wes

  19. deb pacholke says:

    Fargo ndIngo…..i am really sorry about the loss of your mother….i know how much you loved her. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Let me know if there is anything i can do. Deb

  20. Dog & Joan Warnecke says:

    Harwood ND
    Ingo, please know that our hearts and prayers for your mom are also extended to you and your family.

    Your mom was a very gracious lady – always with a pleasant comment when we would meet her in your yard – tending flowers or just out for a walk with your dad and Fritz.

    I know you will miss her a great deal, but also know she is now at peaceful repose with her God with no more pain or frustration.

    Doug & Joan

  21. Keith and Jennel Cederberg. says:

    Hawley. mnGisela was a joy to take care of. She always had a beautiful smile.. she was friendly. She enjoyed talking German to some of the other ladies. She always said he children were wonderba.. I would talk to her about my husband knowing Ingo and she would always smile. Take care of yourselves and Ingo let us know if you need anything. Even if it is just to talk.

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