Thomas Nielson Keele, 77, of Provo, UT, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones, on January 19, 2017. Tom was born in Moab, UT to Thomas Edward and Yvonne Keele (Nielson) on March 9, 1939 and grew up in Blanding, UT.
He graduated in 1957 from San Juan High School as a four-year letterman in basketball and track. He played football his senior year as well. From 1958-1960 he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Great Lakes Mission.
Tom attended Brigham Young University and graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. He moved back to Blanding and taught reading to junior high school students and speech and drama to high school students.
He then returned to BYU to get a Masters in Family Relationships and Marriage Counseling. At this time, his brother, Steve, introduced him to his eternal companion, Helen Jo (Judy) Rogers, and they were married for time and all eternity on June 3, 1967 in the Manti Temple. They were married for almost 38 years before Judy passed away at the age of 62 from cancer in 2005.
Tom attended Florida State University for a summer to help him decide if he should pursue a Ph.D in Family Counseling. Instead, he chose to move his family to Roy, UT where he worked as a counselor for the local junior high.
In 1978, his family moved to Orem where he became a counselor for Utah Technical College, now known as Utah Valley University, and soon after became Director of Counseling and Support Services.
While at UTC, he was a program instructor for their summer activities program and would hike and rappel Mt. Timpanogos every other weekend. Due to chronic illness he retired in 1998 after 20 years of employment.
Tom enjoyed running every morning and rarely missed a day. He was an avid sports fan and loved anything “BYU Cougars”.
Tom demonstrated his love for the Lord and served in various capacities over the years in the LDS church. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was known for being a kind, gentle giant and a man of few words.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents and sister.
He is survived by his two brothers; four daughters, Karlene Carper (Eric), Kimberli Fulton, Karalee Fletcher (Brad), and Shirlene Olson (Jared); and 17 grandchildren.
A memorial service was held for Tom January 27, 2017 in Provo, UT. Interment followed at the Orem Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the LDS Church Perpetual Education Fund or LDS Mission fund.