It is with sorrow that we announce the passing of Kate Van Winkle Keller of Westwood, MA on December 11, 2018. Kitty, as she was known to friends and family, was born on April 28, 1937 in Providence, RI, the daughter of the late Kate Louise (Vondermuhll) and Edward Kingsland Van Winkle, Jr.. She leaves behind beloved husband of nearly 60 years, Robert Monteith Keller (Westwood, MA), daughters Anne Keller Geraci and her partner Joseph St. Martin (Pittsford NY), and Margaret Keller Dimock and her husband Allyn Dimock (Concord MA), as well as sister Anne Van Winkle (Oakland CA), and brothers Peter Kemble Van Winkle (Center Sandwich NH) and Edward Scott Van Winkle (Essex CT), along with grandchildren Elisabeth Leigh Geraci (Boulder CO) and Carolyn Marie Geraci (Burlington VT), and many nieces and nephews.
A graduate of Vassar College, Class of 1959, Kitty did post-graduate work at the Hartford Conservatory of Music. Music and dance were a constant part of her life, as an author, musicologist and historian. Major publications include The Playford Ball, and Dance and Its Music in America, 1528–1789, exemplifying her passion and dedication to recovering and understanding early American Music and Dance. Her proudest achievement was the path breaking work, If the Company can do it!, first presented to the International Early Dance Institute in 1989. She was an officer and Executive Director of The Society for American Music from 1977 to 2000, representing the Society at the American Council of Learned Societies. Kitty was also a founding member and Research Director of The Colonial Music Institute.
In recognition of her scholarly achievements, Keller was elected to membership in the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester, MA in 2004, given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 by the Society for American Music, and was named Honorary Member of the Country Dance and Song Society in 1993.
Kitty and Bob spent much of their married life in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and most recently the retirement community, Fox Hill Village in Westwood Mass. Kitty was a vibrant force in each community in which she lived, embracing the cultural resources and opportunities offered. At Fox Hill Village, Kitty joined the Westwood Baptist Church Ringers, the Wellesley Community Chorus and the Fox Hill Village Chorus. She also directed the Fox Hill Ringers, and introduced a weekly country dance to the community.
Kitty loved working in the garden, bird-watching, singing in various choruses, and doing country dance; but she was happiest researching and working on her various dance and music projects.
A memorial service will be held at 3PM on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at First Baptist Church of Westwood, MA.
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