The Charles and Carol Keller Fund, was created in junction with the Kellers being chosen as the 2006 Philanthropists of the Year. The fund will support the administrative needs of the WCCF so that it may continue to grow the community’s grant-making endowment.
In addition to significant gifts to the WCCF, including a life insurance policy on Charles’ life and a $50,000 gift to the administrative endowment, the Kellers generously supported California University of Pennsylvania, California United Methodist Church, Center in the Woods, Rotary International, Jumonville Foundation, United Way and the Boy Scouts.
Charles Keller, Senior Partner with the Washington law firm of Peacock Keller, was a man with an extensive history of service to his community. Not only was he a Founding Trustee and former Chairman of the Board of the WCCF, he served as President of Rotary International, President of the Washington County Easter Seal Society, the Mon Valley United Way, Mon Valley Hospital, the Mon Valley Health and Welfare Council, Washington County Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the California Area Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce and the Allegheny Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America. Charles worked intensively within the area of higher education, serving as general counsel for California University’s unique student body corporation, Student Association, Inc., for more than 50 years.
The desire to serve extends far from Charles’ hometown of California. He was a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps in the ETO Theater in WWII, retiring after 30 years in the Air Force as a Judge Advocate with the rank of Lt. Colonel. Charles graduated Summa Cum Laude from California State College (now California University of Pennsylvania), where he received the schools highest undergraduate honor, the Distinguished Service Award. He attended Law School at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Juris Doctor Degree. Charles and his first wife Mary Lou were married for 43 years. They had four children, Jeffrey, Gregory, Candy Lou and Robin.
Carol Keller was born in the small town of Rimersburg (best know as the home of Archway Cookies) in southern Clarion County, PA. Her grandfather was one of her teachers and her family did a lot of gardening and canning during the period of World War II. Her high school class recently celebrated its 55th anniversary reunion. Carol was an active member of that class, National Honor Society, drum major of the band, and so on. Her mother was one of ten children, so there were lots of cousins around, although Carol was an only child.
Early on, Carol had resolved to become a nurse, and she went to Pittsburgh to the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing where she achieved her dream and then was a surgical nurse at Presbyterian Hospital for twelve years. Nurses get lots of opportunity to practice their skills in comforting and caring.
In 1963, Carol met and married John Chiprean, a prominent business man and Rotarian in Butler, Pennsylvania. Their children are Susan and Brad, and their granddaughter is Caitlin. Carol got very used to traveling with him, getting involved in the service activities of the Butler Rotary Club and their Rotary District. She is still an honorary member of the Butler Rotary Club. But she also found time to carve out her own activities, serving as a Board member and President of the Butler County Chapter of the American Heart Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania American Heart Association, member and then President of the widely known Butler Garden Club, and as an elder, deacon and leader in the large Hill United Presbyterian Church. John Chiprean died in 1995.
In 1999, Chuck and Carol married. They and their spouses had been close friends for some 35 years and this marriage was a blessing to both of them. Chuck and Carol remained active in the Washington County community through their service and their charitable giving. Charles passed away in 2018.