In Our Thoughts: Doug (Douglas Allen) Keller 1943-2020

We were sad to learn the news of Doug Keller from Jo Lynne Kirkwood. Doug died April 2, 2020 at his home in Johnson Canyon, Utah.

Many knew Doug from the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, where he was long involved. This photo by Stella and Ol’ Jim Cathey was taken there in 2012.


From his obituary, “…For several years Doug owned a dude string near the Grand Canyon. He worked as Maintenance Supervisor at Parry Lodge for over 18 years. Doug always enjoyed writing and acting. He acted in many plays and has written, directed and produced several melodramas at the Old Barn Playhouse and Crescent Moon Theatre. He wrote Cowboy Poetry for over 40 years and was invited to perform all over the West. Doug compiled a book of his poems in 2012 called Songs of the Land – Poems of the West. Doug was a Silver Buckle winner at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in 2005 and was also the Cowboy Poet Laureate of Kane County….

“…A graveside service [will be] held Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 1:00 PM in the Kanab Utah Cemetery, with military honors by American Legion Post 69. A livestream broadcast can be accessed at Doug Keller Graveside Service about 10 minutes before service time.”

Jo Lynne Kirkwood adds, “When the Paiutes have a death in the tribe they hold an all-night sing, which culminates with four songs at sunrise to sing the departed on (his) way over the Grand Canyon.  They will be at the graveside, and will sing the final four songs for Doug.  Kenny Hall will also be there to sing for Doug, and Dennis Judd will speak.  Penny plans to read one of Doug’s poems… Later, when we can gather, there will be more of a celebration for Doug.”

The broadcast will be archived at Mosdel Mortuary.

Doug Keller is survived by his wife Penny Savage and children from a previous marriage.

Read more here.