Carlene Keefer, age 98, ended her earthly life and started home on Sept.24 in Salida with her loving daughter at her side. Carlene was born July 20, 1922 in Wheatland to Augusta and John Berg. Carlene was an only child.
While still in high school she married Harry Cummings and to them was born a daughter, Diane, on Jan. 4, 1939.
Carlene graduated from Wheatland High School in 1940 and attended many all school and class reunions until 2020 when the reunions were cancelled due to the COVID restrictions.
Carlene married Hilly Fender in 1943 and three daughters were born to this marriage. The family moved from Wyoming to Salida in 1955. Carlene assisted her husband managing their gasoline transport trucks, typing orders and shuttling truck tires and parts. Carlene also checked groceries at the Boys’ Market and managed the serving staff at the Spa Restaurant, now the Uptown Grill. She enjoyed serving restaurant customers and treated them as her private guests.
The year all three Fender girls were in high school at the same time, Carlene said were some of the happiest days of her life. Being a skilled and talented seamstress for the girls all their lives she was now sewing prom formals, dresses for all special occasions, and cheerleading uniforms. In the years to come she also made their wedding dresses.
In 1975 Carlene married Chuck Keefer and moved to Dutch John, Utah where Chuck was employed by the Bureau of Reclamation. With this marriage Carlene happily welcomed two stepdaughters and eventually more grandchildren. After Chuck’s retirement the couple spent 20 plus years traveling in their RV with trips to Mexico, Florida, Texas, Alaska, all the west coast states. After Chuck’s death Carlene returned to her childhood home of Wheatland. At the age of 89 Carlene toured England, Scotland, and her ancestral home of Ireland. While visiting her daughter in Salida in January 2017 Carlene suffered a stroke and, no longer able to live alone, once again became a resident of Salida.
Carlene loved the Lord and anticipated seeing the Father and Jesus at the end of her earthly journey. She also was anticipating seeing the loved ones who had gone ahead.
Carlene was very proud to be a member of the Red Hat Society over 20 years and attended Society meetings wherever she lived. She lived the Society motto “Life is short, eat dessert first! “
Carlene was preceded in death by her parents; beloved daughter, Diane; former husbands, Harry and Hilly; husband, Chuck, stepbrother, Kirby, stepdaughter, Deb Keefer, and granddaughter, Jenette Collett. She is survived by her daughter, Judy Ann Fender of Salida, Joy Wilhelm of Wheatland and Happy (Jess) Cantrell of Casper; and stepdaughter, Sandy (Craig) Collet of Dutch John, Utah; grandchildren, Carol (Lennie) Hawkins, Stacey (Kevin) Klim, Melody (Craig) Nottage, Rodney (Nyla) Wilhelm, Louise (Tony) Kiser, Tonya Younger, Leisl (Ron) Sanders, Chris (Janalee) Collett, Danielle Kinder(John Hull), Camille (Ken) Browning, Maretta (Woody) Bair, Chelsey (Tanner) Davis, Vanessa (Bill) Coulter, Nicole (Randy) Knafic, and Mickey Nussbaumer; numerous great grandchildren; and three great great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held in Wheatland on Friday, Oct. 9 at p.m. at the First Christian Church with Pastor Casey Schroder officiating. Inurnment will in Wheatland Cemetery in the family plot. In lieu of floral gifts the family requests donations to the Salida Pregnancy Resource Center and First Christian Church of Wheatland.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland are in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com