SCHENECTADY – Margaret “Peggy” A. Keller passed away peacefully on October 20, 2021 at the age of 84. Born in Queens, NY, she was the daughter of Oscar and Murial (Richards) O’Dea. She was predeceased by her husband, Francis “Frank” Keller, her daughter Margaret, her sister Patricia and brothers Kenneth and Kevin.
Peggy was an accomplished seamstress, dressmaker, and tailor when she married Francis “Frank” Keller in 1956 at the age of 19. She spent the next several decades fine tuning and expanding her creativity and skills to include upholstery, custom costume maker, crocheter, crafter and became an adult prodigy. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, extended family members, friends, strangers and the community at large were the recipients of many incredible pieces. Although Peggy loved staying home with her three children, Deborah, Lynda and Brian, she worked part-time in the children’s school system, volunteered as a custom costume designer for school and Girl Scout plays and events, was a den mother for Cub Scouts and eventually became a pharmacist’s assistant when her children were grown. After leaving the pharmacy, Peggy worked as an assistant in an orthopedic office which she enjoyed tremendously. In 1998, she moved from Valley Stream, NY to Albany, NY with her husband, which thrilled her immensely as it allowed her to watch and experience firsthand the lives of three of her grandchildren as they grew into adulthood.
Peggy decided to continue her lifelong volunteerism in Albany. She rejuvenated a highly skilled group of senior female volunteers know as Granny Squares, affiliated with her church, All Saints Catholic Church (formerly St. Margaret Mary’s). Through the next ten years, Peggy and these incredibly talented women worked diligently. They met weekly to make and provide disabled veterans with lap robes, premature babies with “preemie” hats, walker and rollator enabled individuals with walker bags so their daily necessities would be close and secure. They also made prayer shawls for those who found comfort in them. Peggy and the Granny Square women also made gifts for all the preschool children during the holidays. All this done with camaraderie and grace without the need for recognition or thank you, just joy in knowing that they were helping others. Peggy’s legacy is to provide random and intentional acts of kindness wherever she saw the need or when the need presented itself to her.
Peggy is survived by her daughters Deborah Keller and son-in-law George Chernetz, Lynda and son-in law Dr. Domenick Rizzuto; and her son Brian Keller and daughter-in law Kim. She is also survived by the loves of her life, her grandchildren, Christopher, Michael, Kristen, Adam, Grant and Mackenzie, her great grandchildren, Scarlett, Violet and Jonathan as well as her brothers, sister, cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Peggy’s life will be held at All Saints Catholic Church, 16 Homestead St. Albany, NY on Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. There will be no calling hours. Burial will be immediately after the mass at 11:30 a.m. at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Rd., Schuylerville, NY 12871. In leau of flowers, please continue Peggy’s legacy by practicing acts of kindness and volunteering in your community. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.
This is a video tribute to Peggy: