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Deanna Lee Aday-Keller

07/25/1947 - 11/03/2023


Obituary For Deanna Lee Aday-Keller

Deanna Lee Aday-Keller of Folsom, California passed away at her home November 3 of 2023. She is survived by husband Chris Keller, daughters Kimberly (James) Hopper and Kristi O’Neill, stepdaughter Michelle Keller, siblings, William Cotton, Jr, Candace Garry, Connie Holm, Barbara Aday-Ashworth, grandchildren Geno, Demi and Christian, three great-grandchildren, multiple nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

“Deenie” was born July 25, 1947, to Luther and Thelma (Pullins) Aday in Rapid City. Though Luther and Thelma were later divorced, she had a supportive father figure in Bill Cotton, who nicknamed her “Bubbles”. She had many fond memories of growing up in a blended family, including Bill taking her to the store to buy her first lipstick when she was 16, teasing her pesky younger sister Candy to “go out and watch the grass grow” when she was too involved in “older sister things” to indulge childhood pursuits.

Dee is a graduate of Central High, class of 1965 in Rapid City. Deenie met and married Robert “Bob” Kasprzak, who was stationed at Ellsworth AFB, they started a family of their own not far from where her parents lived. She was a strong, fiercely independent woman with a big personality, which helped when Bob went overseas to Viet Nam. With her parents’ encouragement she was able to provide a stable environment for Kim and Kristi, while introducing them to a love for pets that remains to this day. Though the foray into primate ownership did not go well (the less said about poo-flinging monkey Bismark the better), caring for standard poodle Kurt Charles (a.k.a. KC) was only the beginning of a life-long devotion to animals, especially canines, needing a home.

In time the Air Force reassigned Bob, so they packed up and moved to the Philippines, where the adventurer in Dee thrived. She enjoyed learning about the culture, the foods, and the environment. Eventually they landed at Lowry Air Force Base in Aurora, Co., just outside Denver. Here, their children spent most of their childhoods, and Deenie threw herself into new pursuits, helping with her girls’ scout troops and various school activities.

Her big personality and strong will helped her again when she and Bob divorced. Determined to acquire secondary education, she attended the University of Colorado at the Denver campus, working as the Director of the Women’s Center, taking multiple classes, and working an additional position at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City-Denver Branch. In fact, she worked at as many different jobs as her classes allowed while in the pursuit of her dream. That determination paid off and she earned a master’s degree in communication. In the course of her studies, she also dabbled in theater where she had a role in “Jesus Christ Super Star” and helped with stage and costume design. During the Christmas holidays Dee and her theater group would sing Christmas carols in Larimer Square, all dressed up in Victorian-era costumes.

Deenie knew how to grab attention! By driving the wrong way down a one-way street, she grabbed the attention of a Denver police officer, all in the attempt to foil an armed robbery at a convenience store. Her creativeness, ingenuity and resourcefulness earned her a citizen’s award from the Denver Police Department.

Dee got to travel quite a bit, something she loved to do. She and husband Chris traveled in England, where they stopped at Buckingham Palace and they traveled in Toronto, Canada stopping at the Hockey Hall of Fame. She moved to Washington, DC for her job with “the Fed” serving as the Secretary to the Consumer Advisory Council and earning a second master’s degree before moving to California.

Upon retirement, Deenie was able to pursue new passions, starting with art journaling. While her experiments with new recipes was met with reviews best described as unenthusiastic (her Lemon Prune Chicken bombed), doll making was where her skills truly blossomed. She was active in the local doll making club, served as the club secretary for a time, made multiple art dolls, and entered competitions and exhibitions at the state fair. She also rescued many dogs, one from outside the Folsom Library that she named Dewey, after the Dewey Decimal System.

Please come and help celebrate the life of Deanna Aday-Keller! Memorial services will be held at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home, Rapid City, South Dakota on Friday, May 24th, 2024, at 0900 with interment of her cremains to follow at Black Hills National Cemetery. The VFW will host a gathering where we will be able to have a toast to a beautiful daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. Memorial donations may be made to Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, 765 Nonaville Rd, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122 or to your favorite animal charity/rescue.

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24 May

Celebration of Life

09:00 AM

Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home 632 Saint Francis St. Rapid City, SD 57701 Get Directions »
24 May


11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Black Hills National Cemetery 20901 Pleasant Valley Dr Sturgis, SD 57785 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 05/15/2024

    I have so many fond trouble-making memories with Dee! We stood in line overnight to buy Broncos playoff tickets, we drove all the way across Wyoming on the way to a bank exam (asking for every trucker to honk at us, and it was a lot), she called a prospective boyfriend of mine, impersonating me and I don't know how she kept a straight face! I hope fond memories help you with your sorrow over losing her. She was a special lady. Beth Piper

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