‘We all looked up to him:’ Colleagues remember James Keller

Medical Director James Keller

Medical Director James Keller

James Keller, Student Health Services Medical Director, died June 1. Keller, 73, dedicated 45 years to WSU and was the second Medical Director at SHS.

Before his death, Keller planned to retire to have more freedom to spend time on his ranch with his cattle and family members — however, he was found deceased in his pasture with his cattle on June 1.

Keller is survived by his wife Donna Keller and children Brian, Michael and Krista Schuster, as well as grandchildren.

“He loved spending time with his family,” Heather Stafford, Student Health Services Director, said. “He was a rancher, working his ranch and taking care of his cattle.”

Stafford said Keller cared about students and made sure to keep their financial well-being in mind when treating them

“I think the one thing that students may not realize about him is that he super enjoyed working with them: To laugh with them and ask them about their history or where they’re from,” Stafford said. “He also kept in mind their financial restrictions as a student; he wasn’t going to order a bunch of tests for them that weren’t needed.”

Sara Friesen, a nurse practitioner at SHS, spoke highly of Keller.

“He was very well respected and truly left an amazing mark on all of us who worked with him,” Friesen said. “He was so kind and knowledgeable, and we all looked up to him for many years to share his skills with each of us as we provided health care to WSU students.”