February 4, 1933 ~ July 2, 2003

Born in: New Orleans, LA,
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Asheville - Charles A. Keller, Jr., M.D., 70, died Wednesday, July 2, 2003 at his residence. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he was a son of the late Myrtle Chisolm Keller and Dr. Charles A. Keller, Sr., DDS. In addition to his parents, Dr. Keller was preceded in death by his sister, Suzanne Leonard and his brother, Thomas Clements Keller. Dr. Keller attended Louisiana State University, receiving his BS degree in 1955 and his Medical degree in 1959. He served his internship from 1959 to 1960 at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, his residency at the University of Colorado from 1960 to 1961 and his Fellowship in Thoracic Surgery at Tulane University from 1961 to 1965. He was an instructor in Surgery at Tulane University from 1964 until 1967. In 1967, Dr. Keller founded Asheville Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons, bringing private practice Cardiac Surgery to Asheville. He was on the medical staff of Memorial Mission and St. Joseph’s Hospitals from 1967 until his retirement in 1996. At Memorial Mission Hospital, Dr. Keller served as Chief of Staff in 1977, served on the Surgical Services Committee and, from 1991 until 1998, on the Board of Directors. He also served, from 1992 until 1996, on the Board of Directors of the Medical Care Review Committee and from 1996 until 1998, the Board of Directors of the Certificate of Public Advantage Compliance Committee. He was a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Southern Thoracic Surgeon Association, American College of Chest Physicians and the South Atlantic Cardiovascular Society. Dr. Keller is survived by his wife, Nancy Hudgins Keller; his children, Scott Green Keller, and his wife Amanda, of Atlanta, Leslie Ann Keller, and her fiancée Graham Ramsey, of Asheville, Gregory Shaun Keller of Asheville and Michelle Keller Gould, and her husband Joel, of Atlanta; and four granddaughters, Hannah, Sarah, Olivia and Josephine. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday in The Cathedral of All Souls with The Reverend Brian Cole officiating. Interment will follow in Calvary Episcopal Churchyard. Pallbearers will be Scott G. Keller, Gregory S. Keller, Joel Gould, Graham Ramsey, Harry G. Burton, III, M.D. and Alan M. Johnson, M.D. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Assn., P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5216; American Cancer Society, 31 College Place, Bldg. C, Suite 100, Asheville, NC 28801; The Cathedral of All Souls, P.O. Box 5978, Asheville, NC 28813 or Mountain Area Hospice, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813.

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  1. When Dr. K came out of surgery and told us ‘Your mom is going to be fine’ We believed it. This man, in 10 years of treating my mother (Betty Merideth) always told us the truth, straight forward, he pulled no punches. My mother suffered with severe diabetes in the early 70’s until her death in 1983. Her circulation was terrible, and Dr Bilbry and Dr Keller worked with her for years. When your 16 years old, and your mother passes away it is devastating. Dr Keller came in after Mom passed and hugged each one of us for what seemed like forever, and it made all the difference in the world, that he cared so much. Dr Keller gave doctors everywhere a great name. I knew that he had done everything possible. He has a lucky family, to have such a caring soul so close to you. There is a VERY special place in heaven for that man.
    Kelly Merideth Simpson
    (formerly of Asheville)

  2. Nancy, Martha Ann and I extend our deepest condolences. We agree with your sentiments that at last Charlie is at peace. He will be forever remembered by me as a colleague, mentor and friend. I am indebted to him for his help, encouragement and professional example. Love always, Porter

  3. I spent wonderful hours in the operating romm at MMH with my friend, Dr. Keller. He was very special to me and all of the staff. He was always kind and helpfull to me as a student and taught me a tremendous amount toward my becoming the OR nurse I am today and I will always have a special place in my heart for him. My prayers will be with all of you, his family . I know he will be missed greatly by his former co-workers and all the staff that had the pleasure of knowing him. May our God bless and keep all of you. Donna Ammons RN

  4. I wanted to take this opportunity to say that I know Dr. Keller sacrificed a lot in his personal life to save the lives of so many others. My father was one of those he saved, not once but twice. I know how real your pain is as two years ago we lost my Mother to cancer. It is hard to understand how God can take one who tried so hard to help others. We know however that He has a greater plan. I hope that someday you can be comforted in the knowledge that God gave your husband a tremendous gift through his surgery. While I never knew him personally, I know that the time he gave to others is greatly appreciated. He will be missed by many. May God Bless and keep you all

  5. Our condolence to the family of an old and dear Friend.
    We will be in Va. at an Olinger family reunion,and will not be able to attend the funeral.
    Shirley and Ray and family

  6. I am honored to have worked with Dr. Keller for many years. My heartfelt prayers go to his family.
    His contributions to this community are immeasurable.

  7. I will never forget Dr. Keller and what he meant to me. I lost my father at age 19 and after joining Asheville Cardiovascular in 1990 he became one of my best friends. He was like a father to me. God bless him.

  8. I was a freshman at Jesuit in 1950 when Charlie was a senior. I was the only freshman ever to make the varsity football team and Charlie always tried to make me feel like one of the guys inasmuch as I was just out of eighth grade and in awe of these upperclassmen. I also played for Tulane while he was there. My father and I were patients of his father at his office on Magazine st. Please accept my condolences, I will always remember him. Will Billon.

  9. I worked with Dr. Keller in the CV-ICU 1983 until his retirement. I heard him speak many times of his love for his wonderful family. May the LORD be with you all at this time. I will be praying for your comfort. With very fond memories, Harriet

  10. My condolences to the whole family. I am an old friend of Greg’s but haven’t seen him in years. I sometimes check the Citizen-Times online and that is how I got the news. Greg, feel free to e-mail or call anytime.


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