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Seth Morse Keller

Gilford---Seth Morse Keller, respected local businessman, energetic community leader, and beloved family and community member, died peacefully on Friday evening October 19th, 2007, at the Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia at the age of 89.  Born June 10th, 1918, he was the son of Otto George Keller and Clara Pitman Keller of Laconia, N.H.

Seth lived his entire life in the Lakes Region, starting at Harvard Street School and graduating as President of his Senior Class at Laconia High School.  He attended the University of Vermont and received a BA in business from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts after having transferred there to be near his future wife of 67 years, Eleanor (Peg) Pearson, who was attending Wellesley College. Upon graduating from Babson in 1939, he joined his father Otto and his brother O. Pitman Keller in operating Keller's Store, a bakery, candy and ice cream establishment on Main Street in Laconia. After volunteering for the Navy in World War II, Seth returned to the family business, transforming the candy and bakery operations first into a popular luncheonette and then expanding into Seth Keller Caterer, which became the largest such operation in New Hampshire at the time.

When urban renewal claimed Keller's Store on Main Street, Seth and his wife Peg together created Kellerhaus in 1966, a unique shop purveying imported gifts and featuring Keller's Candy and Keller's Ice Cream, both of which were made on the premises located on the hill above Weirs Beach. Kellerhaus soon became a favorite annual destination for both local residents and visitors to the Lakes Region and continues now under new ownership. He participated in many organizations in the business field serving for many years as a Trustee of the Laconia Savings Bank, a member of the Laconia Chamber of Commerce, and as President of the New England Confectioners' Association.

 Local community organizations were of great importance to Seth, who willingly contributed his unbounded energy and well honed business skills to numerous groups, providing sound advice while using his creativity, unique wit, and his humor. He was an active member of the Gilford Community Church where he was a deacon and he served on the Board of Directors of the Laconia YMCA, the New Hampshire Humane Society, and the Golden Rule Farm, as well as being a founding member of the Laconia Youth Services Bureau and a long time volunteer for the Lakes Region Community Health and Hospice. For his civic efforts he was awarded the Jim Irwin Community Service Award.

Seth loved acting and played a seminal role in the creation of the Gilford Gaslight Players, writing and acting in plays to benefit the Gilford Grade School PTA's efforts to supplement educational programs. He also joined with Gilford colleagues to found the Gilford Outing Club, providing ski facilities for the youth of Gilford prior to the establishment of Gunstock.   In addition, he helped found the Bear Island Conservation Association to protect the natural habitat of Bear Island.

Seth is survived by his wife, Eleanor Pearson Keller of Gilford Village, son and daughter-in-law Scott and Dora Keller of New York City, son and daughter-in-law Richard and Kathy Keller of Gilford, daughter Christine Guarente of Laconia, and sister Suzanne Talbot of Sandwich, N.H.  He leaves 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.  Seth was predeceased by his son, David Morse Keller of Gilford, N.H. and his two brothers, Judge William W. Keller of Meredith and O. Pitman Keller of Gilford.

A celebration of Seth's life will be held at The Gilford Community Church, 19 Potter Hill Road, Gilford, N. H.  on Saturday October 27th at 11:00.  The Rev. Michael Graham, Pastor of the church, will officiate..

There will be no calling hours.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Allen-Keller Music Fund, Gilford Community Church, 19 Potter Hill Road, Gilford, N. H. 03249, The Cheryl Lynn Walsh Memorial Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 7091, Gilford, N. H. 03247-7091 or New Beginnings, 832 North Main Street, Laconia, N.H. 03246.

Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N. H. is in charge of the arrangements.  For more information and to view an online memorial go to







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