Leonard "Lenny" L Keeler
BENNINGTON- Leonard L. Keeler, 74, of West Dover, died on Saturday, November 17, with his two favorite girls by his side. He grew up in Darien, CT, and was active on the Lions’ and Blue Wave baseball, basketball, and soccer teams. Mr. Keeler enjoyed a long, successful career with Finast Supermarkets. He started as a bottle sorter and bag escort at the age of 18, and rose up the ranks to store manager. At age 19, he joined the Darien Volunteer Fire Department, serving for over five years. After Finast, he managed several Pergament Home Centers in Connecticut and New York.
Lenny was an avid outdoors man who enjoyed fresh- and salt-water fishing and hunting. He never missed an opening fishing day, despite the weather, and would camp on the Housatonic River - always catching his limit. His outdoor expertise kept the taxidermists busy with several large mouth bass, deer, and even a wild boar.
Lenny had a fantastic sense of humor and enjoyed telling jokes and stretching the truth of stories just to make himself and others laugh. When asked whom he loved, he would always point to himself. He found fun in almost any situation and loved passing on his favorite quotes such as “Only the prepared deserve to survive.” But nothing could have prepared him for what would sadly change his life forever in the form of strokes and eventually dementia.
Lenny was preceded in death by his parents John and Margaret (Mooney) Keeler of Darien, CT, and his brother David. Their mischievous bunch consisted of siblings John, Gary, Patty, and David. Mr. Keeler’s children from his first marriage include Steven and Jodi Keeler, of Franklin, TN, Cindy Keeler, of Glastonbury, CT, and Danny Keeler, of Norwalk, CT. He is also survived by grandchildren Lee and Elisabeth Keeler.
Lenny met his devoted wife, Lynn, at Finast. They were married on August 2, 1981, overlooking Long Island Sound in Norwalk, CT. They spent almost 40 years together and enjoyed traveling, cruising, and especially picnicking on Lake Waramaug in Connecticut, surrounded by family and friends. Lynn stayed by her husband’s side every step of his difficult journey and provided nurture, care, and undying love.
A note from daughter Cindy; Dad, I will forever be in awe of your resilience, strength, and courage to live in the face of adversity. Thank you for all that you taught me (fishing, camping, skating, cooking, cheating at wishbone breaking, and more!), but especially for allowing me the freedom to make life choices, good or bad. Your guidance and support meant the world to me. I loved everything we shared from sledding on cardboard boxes, to a frosty beer, to working flea markets as we discovered new “treasures.” I hope you are at peace and raising a cold one with Neil and Ronnie while telling fish tales. I’ll love you always and “I’ll see ya when I see ya”...because fathers and daughters never say goodbye.
A note from his wife Lynn; thank you for an incredible life together. You were my one and only love. You made me laugh every day and we complemented each other because you always grounded me when times got tough. You were my rock...and as much as you teased me, your heart of gold always shone through. Our move to Vermont brought out the best in you. Who can say they had a local beer named after them or started tattoos in their sixties? You were quite the character, but my heart will always belong to you.
The family would like to thank the staff of Bennington Rehabilitation Facility, and BAYADA Hospice for the wonderful care and support to make Lenny’s end of life so comfortable. In the absence of memorial services, the family asks that anyone wishing to make donations send them to BAYADA Hospice of Rutland, VT 05701.