Richard Keeler passed away peacefully on 16 January of this year after a battling a terminal illness. Long-time servant of the Urantia Revelation, good friend to many, loyal and trusted member and supporter of Urantia Association International, and Trustee of Urantia Foundation for thirty years, Richard was loved by many and will be sorely missed by those who called him their friend.
Following are some tributes from some of his friends that portray the depth of love and gratitude so many had for this wonderful man.
It is with tears of sadness, joy, and celebration that we announce that Richard Keeler has graduated. Last evening, January 16, 2019, our beloved brother and friend transitioned from Urantia. His health had been on the decline for two years, and his passing was a blessing that he looked forward to. He met the challenge of his final journey with courage and faith in his heavenly Father.
Richard Keeler served as a Trustee of Urantia Foundation for 30 years. He was steadfast in his love of the revelation and his service to the Foundation and the readership. He brought wisdom, humor, and fraternity to us all. Richard’s loving service, unselfish devotion, and courageous loyalty were a testament to his dedication to living the fruits of the spirit.
We all miss Richard and bid him Godspeed as his guardian angel takes him to the mansion worlds. Richard, we salute the fragment of infinity, the spark of divinity, and the ember of eternity within you. We leave you with Richard’s favorite quote from The Urantia Book:
Of God, the most inescapable of all presences, the most real of all facts, the most living of all truths, the most loving of all friends, and the most divine of all values, we have the right to be the most certain of all universe experiences. [Paper 102:7.10, page 1127.4]
Richard was my best friend and the most memorable “character” I’ve known ever since our freshman year in the Sigma Chi house at Kansas University, where we both were introduced to The Urantia Book by our pledge brother Vern Grimsley. Suffering a long, progressing, and debilitating illness from a rare pancreatic cancer that prevented his body from processing critical nutrients, Richard was lovingly cared for by Mike Wood and Evette Twyford for the past year or more. They took care of all his daily needs, accompanying him to Urantia study group meetings, and helping him to eat to maintain his strength and weight. Rich eventually went into a coma and made the transition to his next great adventure in the care of a hospice team at his home in Wyoming. Shortly before his daughter Libby arrived the previous day, he came out of the coma and was able to recognize her and have a brief heart-warming conversation, even humming along as she sang “You Are My Miracle,” a song he often sang to her, before falling back into the coma. After they did a Cherokee blessing with sage and bear bark, he passed away a day later. As his brother Sigma Chi’s would say, “All honor to his name!”
Richard Keeler was a most amazing spirit being. Generous with his time, treasure, humor, knowledge and wisdom he was a welcome addition to any endeavor you shared together. He was a steadfast and loyal friend and a brother-in-arms in the dissemination of The Urantia Book revelation. He could be spiritual and irreverent all at once. I will forever remain honored to have called him my friend and I look forward to meeting up with him again somewhere along the ascension pathway. Rest in peace and rise in glory faithful servant.
You fulfilled the life of a son of God. I had the great pleasure of being with you and many other beautiful people in Cottonwood 2007 after 30 plus years of being a lone reader. It will always be profound to me that the first gathering I attended was in the company such a wonderful group of people. I must say that you are a shining light in my memories, and if it be said that we are all solders of the circles, then we have lost one of our generals in you dear friend. I look to the not-too-distant future when my proposal to meet at the “relief map of Edentia” will be a new and fabulous experience yet again. Rest for now Richard and we’ll sing and dance again on the day of reunion mate.
I had the pleasure of meeting Richard more than 20 years ago and enjoyed being in his presence many times over that period. He became a close friend of my brother Victor and by extension of myself and our family. Many generations of Urantia Book students, including myself, found exemplary leadership and refreshing spiritual guidance in association with Richard. I was touched by his wisdom to confront challenges trusting fully in the Father’s will, which I could see was only matched by his quick wit, extraordinary good cheer and splendid sense of humor.
His legacy at Urantia Foundation (and by extension at Urantia Association International), is truly exceptional; perhaps only surpassed by the enormous bounty of spiritual seeds he sowed in so many of us, which I am certain will continue to yield supreme, soulful fruits over many generations.
A heartfelt thank you, dearest Richard, for being a true spiritual titan and solid pillar of our community. May the Father give us strength to take much of your legacy forward with the great generosity, courage and determination that you demonstrated to us is required to continue a life of service, spiritual expansion and tireless dissemination of the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Revelation.
Richard was instrumental in making the first Russian translation of The Urantia Book a reality. Back in 1992, he came to Finland and offered his cooperation. I will miss him (and his banjo!) greatly.
When we were chartering our Local in Houston, circa 1992, Rich, Phil R, Kathy, and Pat M were each giving a little talk. During Richard’s, a woman took a removable cast off her arm. Rich was all serious in discussion of the chartering but stopped dead, leapt up pointing and yelled like a wild-eyed madman, “It’s a miracle!” When I wanted to put a Urantia Book in every library in Texas, he made it happen, if I would call the library, Urantia Foundation would ship them. Almost 1,000 went out. And he didn’t stop or withdraw when he was dealt repeated bad blows. Play on Ricardo, you do it so well. Reversion candidate alert, Mansonia.
My husband Trevor and I count Richard among our very special Urantia Book reader friends. We first met him in 1989 when he came to an Australian conference. Like so many others, we clicked with him immediately and enjoyed our first of many sing-a-longs with him and his banjo. Over the years, as we started working closely with Urantia Foundation, we developed a wonderful friendship. We came to realize what a selflessness and utterly dedicated individual he was. What the apostle Matthew was to the fourth epochal revelation, so was Richard to the fifth. He withstood many storms but always stayed on course. His devotion and loyalty to the revelation is an inspiration for anyone who wishes to see this revelation succeed—he was truly a “Hero of the Revelation.” Farewell dear Richard, until we meet again…