Richard Keeler Retires

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Richard Keeler
Richard Keeler

Compiled from many sources

Editor’s Note: Richard Keeler is the Foundation’s longest-serving trustee and has been a major contributor to the Urantia Book project for decades. The entire board and many others in the Urantia community are grateful for his dedication, his generosity, and his goodwill. We are thankful that Richard is continuing his role as trustee emeritus.

In the fall of 1959, Richard Keeler, then recently elected Governor by his peers at Oklahoma Boys State (a leadership training project), left Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and followed in the footsteps of several family members by heading to the University of Kansas. Like his relatives before him, Richard pledged the Sigma Chi fraternity, where he met another recent pledge, Vern Grimsley.

Vern had recently taken a class taught by Meredith Sprunger. At the end of the class, Vern asked Meredith if he had any suggestions for summer reading. Meredith wrote The Urantia Book on the blackboard but made no further comment. Vern became enthralled by it and soon thereafter showed it to several of his fraternity brothers, including Richard. They all read and discussed it together, and some were hooked for life.

Within a few years Richard traveled to Chicago to visit Urantia Foundation at 533 W. Diversey Parkway and met Dr. William Sadler, E.L. Christensen (Christy), and others. They were immediately accepted into this group of early readers and learned about the history and culture of the two organizations that had originally been set up to disseminate The Urantia Book and its teachings, Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood.

One of the documents that Richard was exposed to during this early education was the Publication Mandate. One particular line caught Richard’s attention: “But the publication of the book has not been postponed to that (possibly) somewhat remote date. An early publication of the book has been provided so that it may be in hand for the training of leaders and teachers. Its presence is also required to engage the attention of persons of means who may be thus led to provide funds for translations into other languages.”

At this point in time, our young college student decided that his mission in life would be to secure funds to ensure the future translation, publication, and distribution of The Urantia Book. He became a successful commodities broker, and donated money to Urantia Foundation to support these ends. He was generous in ways that went far beyond his financial support.

In 1989, Richard accepted the honor and the responsibility of serving on the board of trustees. During his tenure, among many things, he was treasurer and president of the board for six years. He also served on the Public Relations, Fundraising, Finance, Compensation, and Translation committees. At one point, when circumstances dictated, he even moved to Chicago for several months and served as executive director.

Richard traveled extensively to expand the activities of Urantia Foundation. He met with countless readers of The Urantia Book across the globe, established translation efforts in as many languages as possible, kept the text perpetually in print, and solidified the Foundation’s financial stability, oftentimes from his own pocket. Perhaps most importantly, he endeavored to promote spiritual unity while keeping alive the efforts and projects of Urantia Foundation.

By now you may know that, due to health problems, Richard has resigned from active duty as a trustee to become a trustee emeritus. His dedication to the Urantia Revelation, evidenced by his work at Urantia Foundation, has become legendary. Richard generously gave his love, time, and treasure to the mission of seeding The Urantia Book and its teachings globally.

Richard, thank you for all you have done and for who you are inside! We miss and love you ... especially how you made us laugh, dance, and join in your famous banjo sing-alongs!

A statement made by Richard while president of the Foundation embodies how he served: “May we join with our Heavenly Father, with our Creator Son, and with our brothers and sisters—seen and unseen—to participate in patient cooperation and selfless service to our young movement. May we all be so saturated with the love, truth, and goodness of God that all persons coming into contact with us will know from our behavior that we are truthseekers and spiritual explorers, dedicated to the supernal task of doing the will of our Heavenly Father.”


Richard Keeler
Richard Keeler sing-along
Gard Jameson, Richard Keeler, Marilynn Kulieke, Mo Siegel, Georges Michelson-Dupont, Judy Van Cleave, Henk Mylanus
Gard Jameson, Richard Keeler, Marilynn Kulieke, Mo Siegel, Georges Michelson-Dupont, Judy Van Cleave, Henk Mylanus
Richard Keeler, Marta Elders, Gard Jameson
Richard Keeler, Marta Elders, Gard Jameson

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