Retired Combat Engineer passes away suddenly

LCol. (ret’d) Rodney Keller, who served for 26 years in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), passed away suddenly in Guelph, Ontario on Saturday, July 2.

“Rod believed in a life of service to family, community, and country. He loved sports, had an amazing knack for sports statistics and especially loved the Guelph Storm. He was a faithful parishioner at St. George’s Anglican Church. He was never happier than on a golf course, and fittingly spent his final moments at his much-loved Country Club.” stated the death announcement in Gilbert Macintyre & Son Funeral Homes.

Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Keller later moved to and grew up in Guelph, Ontario. He graduated from the Royal Military College in Kingston in 1989 with a degree in Civil Engineering and went on to serve as an Engineer Officer in the Canadian Army for 26 years.

In the spring of 1997, Keller was posted to 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (1 CER) in order to join 12 Field Squadron on NATO operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina as the Squadron Second-in-Command.

A few years later, he was again posted to 1 CER to command an Engineer Squadron on Operation APOLLO in Afghanistan as part of the 3 PPCLI Battle Group.

After receiving his Master’s degree in Defence Studies, he was promoted and appointed as the Area Engineer of Land Forces Western Area. In 2009, he assumed command of Canadian Forces Base Suffield.

After retirement from the CAF in 2011, he returned to Guelph and joined the City of Guelph as General Manager of Operations.

“It is with shock and deep regret that the City of Guelph acknowledges the unexpected passing of Rodney (Rod) Keller, General Manager of Operations, devoted leader, and friend.” stated Guelph Chief Administrative Officer Derrick Thomson in a news release.

Thomson went on to say, “In his role with the City, Rod led with integrity, warmth, and an unfailing work ethic. He was dedicated to the men and women who worked for him and with him, and he was well-liked and respected by his colleagues up, down, and across the organization.

“Rod’s service to our community and our country will be sadly missed, but not forgotten. The City flag will be lowered to half-mast in honour of Rod, as per City protocol.”

Keller leaves behind his wife Laura and three children Gabriel, Hanna and Paige.

A funeral will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2016, at St. Georgie’s Anglican Church 99 Woolwich St., Guelph at 11 a.m. Cremation to follow. As expressions of sympathy, donations to St. George’s Anglican Church Building Fund or to Soldier On are appreciated by the family.


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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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