Celebrating the life of

James Joseph "Jim" Keller

Passed away on June 17, 2021

James Joseph

James Joseph “Jim” Keller, 81, passed away peacefully on Thursday June 17, 2021, surrounded by his family after a brief, unexpected illness.

Jim was born in Somers Point, NJ on October 2, 1939 to parents Edwin and Elizabeth Keller. He graduated from Ocean City High School in Ocean City, NJ, in 1959 and enrolled in Braden’s Prep School. Upon graduating from there, he accepted an appointment to West Point where he stayed for 2 years before transferring to NC State to marry his high school sweetheart Sandy. Upon graduation in 1964, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army where he received several honors and awards, including 34 Air Medals awarded for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight during his deployment to Vietnam. He and Sandy spent 25 years of service in the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard, so he travelled and lived all over the U.S. including Hawaii and Alaska. Jim and Sandy came to Savannah in 1986 after his retirement from the Coast Guard to work at Gulfstream as a flight test pilot where he ultimately retired from in 2001. During his time there he was a part of several world records and was well known worldwide by the Gulfstream corporate aviation community.

He was an active member of the Catholic War Veterans, the Knights of Columbus, and was a communicant at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church from the time the parish was established. Also, a member of the Quiet Birdman, Pterodactyl (Coast Guard Aviation Association), Hilton Head Island Hangar, the Knights of Columbus, The Hibernian Society of Savannah, Men of St. Joseph’s and the American Legion.

Jim loved living on Wilmington Island and enjoyed boating and golfing in his spare time but got his most enjoyment spending time with his grandchildren and going to their school and athletic events.

He was preceded in death by his wife Sandy and daughter Michelle. He is survived by his children, Beth Ganley and Jimmy Keller (Julie) all of Savannah; seven grandchildren, Alec, Aidan, Christine, Nick, Grace, Delia, and Matthew; three great grandchildren, Madison, Morgan and Skylar; siblings Darlene (Mike) Caputo, Mike (Christine) Keller and Ed (Petie) Keller; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 21, 2021 from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church with the Rosary prayed at 6:00 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church.

Interment will follow immediately after the Mass at the Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in honor of Jim to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church and School.






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Please accept our deepest condolences and prayers for Jim and his family. We have such fond memories of Jim and Sandy and we’ll always remember Jim as one of the great gentlemen. His kindness, humor, and humility were just a few of the qualities that made Jim such a wonderful man to be around and fly with. Rest In Peace

- Sean and Sonya Sheldon, Savannah, GA

Jim was the most wonderful person you could know. He was smart, friendly, and would give you the shirt off his back to help you. I always enjoyed seeing him and talking. God Bless. We are at a loss with his passing but God received his true Angel. Rest In Peace. Love you.

- Duane Damiani, Bluffton, SC

Jim was the most wonderful person you could know. He was smart, friendly, and would give you the shirt off his back to help you. I always enjoyed seeing him and talking. God Bless. We are at a loss with his passing but God received his true Angel. Rest In Peace. Love you.

- Duane Damiani, Bluffton, SC

My sincerest condolences to the family of their beloved Jim. It was my privilege to know Jim as a colleague and a friend in my seven plus years working with him in Flight Operations at Gulfstream Aerospace in1985-1993. He was a highly professional pilot and dedicated employee who always worked tirelessly to carry out the Departments mission and did it in an outstanding manner. He also was a great guy to know and to travel with as he promoted goodwill among the crew and was fun to be with. An all-around great guy that treated everyone with respect and dignity. I know that he will be sorely missed by his wonderful family, neighbors and close friends.

- Donald Evitt, Nokomis, FL

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May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

- Angel L. Moore, Bloomingdale, Georgia

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We will always recall the fond memories of Jim and Sandy and enjoying their companionship and watching how much they loved each other. They were truly fun to be with and Sandy certainly surprised Jim with a birthday party for Jim’s 80th birthday!

- Gail & John O’Meara, Savannah, Georgia

We are sad to learn of Jim’s passing but are comforted to know he is with his bride and Michelle. He was a stellar human and we are so lucky to have known him. Our deepest condolences to all of Jim’s family. Rest In Peace.

- Aaron and Susan Ingram, Savannah, State

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I spent many hours flying locally and numerous international flights with him. Jim was a super, professional competent pilot. I always l enjoyed flying with him.

- Wayne Altman, Savannah, GAS

I haven’t seen Mr. Keller in many years since being his physician for an illness. I remember him as one of my favorite patients. He was always a pleasure to see and I enjoyed talking planes with him. I am saddened to learn of his passing. Please accept my deepest condolences. He will be missed by many.

- David Weems, Savannah , Ga

Jim Keller was one of the nicest, most noble men I have ever known. He was much beloved at Gulfstream and will be greatly missed. My sincere sympathy to his family. Sally Greer

- Sally Greer, Richmond Hill, Gorgia

Jim was a great guy whom I loved to fly with and train. He was a simple man who loved his family, spoke of them often and loved what he did. He will be missed. Don't forget to touch the face of God Jim. God Bless, and all the best to his family.

- Tom and Katherine Owens, Savannah, GA

Beth , Sorry to hear about your dad, he was a fine man and a true soft spoken professional for Gulfstream. Prayers for your family and may he rest in Peace in Heaven.

- jamie c fields, Tybee Island, GA

My fondest memory of Jim was him holding my patrick in the hospital when Patrick was just just a few hours old . You sent me the pic last week again . I have it framed in my house . Every other man that came to visit came with a wife and certainly did not want to hold a brand new baby . Jim walked in alone and walked right over to the bassinet and looked at me and said “ may I “ he picked Patrick up like a pro and you could tell his love for children . When he stopped by here to bring me flowers the week before he went in hospital , I have a mental picture of him feeding our Rabbit banana chips and bonding with him . It fascinated Jim that I had a rabbit in the house who was so friendly. John has so many fond memories of Jim . He always said Jim was one of a kind , salt of the earth . We are so so sorry for your loss and will continue to cover you and Jimmy and family in our prayers . Love , Rebecca and John salamankas

- Salamankas , Savannah , Georgia

Beth, you and your family have our sincere love and deepest condolences. Jim was just the greatest person you could ever want to meet. I was so fortunate to have know Jim and flown Gulfstreams for 23 years. I flew with Jim many times, learned so much, and had the greatest respect for him. And being neighbors on Wilmington Island was an added benefit. We will never forget his 60th birthday, when Sandy and you surprised Jim with a party, at our house! Just a great memory. Jim fought valiantly to live longer, but he is now at Peace in Paradise with Sandy, Michelle, and other family members. God Bless him, and You, and all your family. Love, Bob & Georgann

- Bob & Georgann Ozbolt, The Villages, FL

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- Bob & Georgann Ozbolt, The Villages, FL

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Our sincere condolences to Beth and family. Jim brightened the lives of all of us that had the pleasure of working and flying with him at Gulfstream. He will be missed.

- Stephanie and Roc Miles, Savannah, GA

We are so sad to have lost such a sweet man, and are so sorry your family has suffered so many losses. Jim, Sandy and Michelle will all be greatly missed and I pray they are smiling and enjoying each others hugs. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Beth & Richard Forkner

- Beth Forkner, Savannah, GA

Jim really knew how sacred and precious life is after having a family and loving them with all his heart. He lived long enough to experience God’s love and know of the resurrection promise. What a relief to know that God will undo all the tragedies that this system creates. The miracle of the resurrection will put us all on our knees in gratefulness. John 5:28,29 we will greet Jim back ,so he will be greeting multitudes as Jesus promised : the meek will inherit the earth. The heavenly Kingdom by Christ will replace imperfect human rulership. We will enjoy peace with no more pain, sickness, or death. Revelations 21:3,4 Please be comforted with ,”Enjoy Life Forever”, Christian Love, Sandy Wirfs

- Sandy Wirfs, Monroe,, Louisiana

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Islands Chapel

  • Interment
  • on Tue, June 22, 2021
  • Catholic Cemetery
  • (map)