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Ellen A. Keiter

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Ellen A. Keiter

CHARLESTON -- Dr. Ellen A. Keiter, age 77 of Charleston, passed away on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.

Visitation will be held from 4:00-6:00 pm on Thursday, December 19 at Adams Funeral Chapel. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Friday, December 20 at 1:00 pm at Adams Funeral Chapel. Burial will be private. It is requested that in lieu of flowers, thoughtful donations in her honor be made to the EIU Foundation - Richard L. & Ellen A. Keiter Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Eastern Illinois University, or to a charity of the donor's choice. Gifts may be left at the visitation/service or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920.

Ellen was born on March 11, 1942 in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, a daughter of the late Thorfin Paulson and Mercedes Levring Paulson. She married Richard Keiter on August 28, 1966 in Minnesota. They were married for 51 years.

She is survived by three brothers: Clayton Paulson and wife Marta Torres of Oregon; Dennis Paulson of Virginia; and Jerome Paulson and wife Judy of Minnesota; a son, Eric Keiter and wife Christina Yovovich of New Mexico; a daughter, Lise Keiter of Virginia; a grandson, Thorfin Keiter of New Mexico; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Richard, and a brother, Milton Paulson.

Ellen graduated magna cum laude from Augsburg College with a B.A. in Chemistry. She went on to earn an M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Illinois. She joined the faculty of Eastern Illinois University in 1974 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2007. She also served as Chair of the Chemistry Department from 1994-2003.Always dedicated to mentoring students, Ellen touched the lives of countless undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom went on to their own distinguished careers. She also published numerous articles in national and international chemistry journals, and she was also a contributing author for the book, Successful Women in Chemistry. In addition, she and her husband Richard coauthored (with Jim Huheey) the highly-regarded textbook Inorganic Chemistry: Principles of Structure and Reactivity. She received many awards, including being honored as a Distinguished Honors Faculty Member at EIU in 2000. She was also active in many professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society.

Always dedicated to helping others, Ellen served her community in many ways. She will be lovingly remembered for her kindness, generous spirit, sense of humor, and beautiful smile by her family, friends, colleagues, and students.

Ellen's complete obituary is available at

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