J. J. Keeler

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Joseph Jensen “J. J.” Keeler was a music educator and skilled organist. He created the organ department at Brigham Young University and served as its head for forty years. He continued teaching until his death.

He studied organ at BYU, where he earned his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in music. He studied at the Salt Lake Tabernacle with Frank W. Asper and Alexander Schreiner. He also studied at the Chicago Musical College, the Leipzig Conservatory of Music with world-famous Karl Straube, and at Westminster Abbey with Ernest Bullock and Thalben Ball.

In addition to his love for music, he was an avid fan of Utah mining history. He also admired the work of Albert Schweitzer and regularly did fund raising concerts and lectures to benefit the Schweitzer hospital in Lambarene, French Equatorial Africa.

Keeler was born on July 3, 1913. He married Virginia Bowles on June 26, 1935, and they were the parents of five daughters and one son. He passed away on September 22, 1996. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wrote the music for the hymn “Men Are That They Might Have Joy” (#275), which was included in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.