Douglas Allen Keller was born on September 1, 1943 in Cedar City, Utah. He passed away peacefully, at home in Johnson Canyon with his wife by his side, on April 2, 2020 after a long battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the consequences of the medications to treat the disease. 

Doug was raised in Orderville, the Barracks Ranch, and Kanab. Doug excelled in writing and drama and graduated from Kanab High School. After High School, he joined the US Army and became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne. He was honorably discharged in 1964 when he returned home and attended Dixie College for a couple of years.

In 1969 he married Vinnona Jones and adopted her two children, David and Michelle. Vinnona and Doug had two children, Diana and Robert. They were later divorced. Doug married Penny Savage, the love of his life, in 2003 and they have lived happily in Johnson Canyon since then.

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.

Doug was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he believed in its principles and served in callings in it at different times in his life. He loved his Father in Heaven and relied upon him throughout his life.

Doug struggled with alcohol for many years until he found Alcoholics Anonymous in Kanab in 1986. He celebrated 34 years of sobriety in February and attended his last AA meeting on Zoom in the comfort of his home on Tuesday March 31. Doug helped many people get and stay sober and was active in AA service in many capacities over the years. He has been a mainstay in meetings and was instrumental in making Kanab AA a healthy and welcoming environment for the newcomer. Through the Grace of his Father in Heaven and the program of AA, Doug became a humble and honorable man. He was a man of his word. He will be missed by many.

A graveside service was held Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 1:00 PM in the Kanab Utah Cemetery, with military honors by American Legion Post 69. A memorial will be planned for a later date when social restrictions are eased. Services were arranged with Mosdell Mortuary.

The graveside service will be live streamed at Download a copy of the live stream at



  1. Kim Kuerbis April 6, 2020 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    God Bless, he was a wonderful guy and will be missed. His cowboy poetry was the best. He brought his stories to life. Prayers out to Penny and his family.

  2. Rod Miller April 6, 2020 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Doug was a fine poet, a fine man, and a good friend.

  3. Dennis Hunter April 7, 2020 at 12:30 am - Reply

    A real cowboy poet through and through. Many happy memories of watching him perform.

    Dennis “Duke” Hunter

  4. Clay Holman April 7, 2020 at 2:12 am - Reply

    I loved this man’s cowboy poetry. He will be missed

  5. Geno Rife April 7, 2020 at 8:29 am - Reply

    I referred to him as Uncle Doug. I loved him. He spent a lot of years living with my parents all over California and Colorado. He was my father’s closest friend and the grew up together. I’ll miss you uncle Doug. I learned so much from ya. You will be remembered forever!!

  6. John West April 7, 2020 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Sending blessings of Peace and comfort. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of his life, his influence on many, many dear souls.

  7. Cynthia Sherwood April 8, 2020 at 12:24 am - Reply

    Such a wonderful man! So sorry for your loss Penny and children, he will be greatly missed.

  8. Leta-Kaye Hansen (Elise’s girl) April 8, 2020 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I’m so grateful for Cousin Doug’s influence in my life! I could always count on him for a big hug and hello at the reunions, and I looked forward to that every time. I got to see one of his melodramas and have thought about the delight of that experience many times over the years. He glows in my memory as a man of warmth and goodness and love.

  9. Que and Karla Johnson April 8, 2020 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    We sure do love Doug he is a great Man. Start Dough and Que telling story’s with each other and sit back and enjoy! We will miss him so much.

  10. Bryson Jones April 8, 2020 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    What a blessing he was to all. It was a privilege to be his classmate. I remember him for his kindness and gentleness to everyone and genuine goodness.

  11. Rosalie Taylor April 8, 2020 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    This was a beautiful service to honor a wonderful, loving, talented man. May the Lord bless you with comfort and peace and many fond memories.

  12. Allison Carter April 8, 2020 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Penny and family, I am very grateful I was able to view the live-streamed graveside service. It was a wonderful gathering. I felt close to Doug and all my Keller family. Many memories came to mind of Doug and his warmth towards me. I remember as a young girl laughing and laughing at The Old Barn Playhouse. I was so proud of my famous director/producer/actor cousin! I also remember as a young girl talking with Doug during family reunions at the ranch. His eyes were so kind. His smile and humor were contagious. I feel deep appreciation to God for the plan of salvation and His covenants that bind us to Him and to each other.
    During the service I got out my copy of Doug’s poem book. The page opened to Doug’s acknowledgments which state, “This book is dedicated to my wonderful wife, Penny. Without her help and encouragement this would never have happened. She’s the ‘Best There Is!” I followed along as Penny read “Song of the Land”. Thank you, Penny, for being the best there is during the past year of Doug’s declining health. Thank you for taking good, good, care of him.

  13. George and Sandy Malamatos (Bloomington, IN) April 14, 2020 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    How lucky we were to meet Doug on our first trip to Kanab. We became friends instantly. We will always treasure the many visits we had with him through the years. It was the highlight of our trips to sit and talk with him and listen to all of his great stories. He was the most delightful and interesting person we’ve ever met. The stories he told and the poetry he wrote will always live in our hearts. and so will the memory of this wonderful man.

    We offer our deepest sympathy to his wonderful wife, Penny, and his family.

  14. Mo April 18, 2020 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Dear Penny, as you know I have always loved Doug. He was above and beyond as a classmate. He was always polite, concerned and caring. He excelled with his Cowboy poetry and I’m grateful to have an autographed copy of his book. It’s an honor to be counted as a friend. Doug will be greatly missed. I’ll be looking forward to his funeral in the future. Please let me help you.

    Love you Penny. The days ahead will be a challenge but I have confidence you are a survivor. He loved you so, you are lucky.
    Much Love to you and your family.

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