Betty Keller's birthday

Betty Keller sits on the porch outside The Renaissance of Florence assisted living facility as well-wishers keep their distance while celebrating Keller's 90th birthday. [COURTESY PHOTO]

FLORENCE — It's becoming a common sight these days: friends and family gathering in cars to observe a birthday by holding a drive-by celebration.

Longtime city resident Betty Keller had such a celebration Sunday for her 90th birthday. The birthday "party" took place on the grounds of The Renaissance of Florence assisted living facility.

Due to COVID-19 requirements, well-wishers had to remain outside the facility while Keller and her fellow residents remained inside. Visitation is still prohibited at assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Keller's son-in-law, Bob Haugen, said Betty Keller is the widow of Florence attorney Jess Keller, who died in June 2007.

She has lived in Florence since 1952 and was deeply involved in the community, Haugen said.

 "A lot of preparation has gone into this," he said last week.

Haugen said he is married to Keller's daughter, Cynthia. She said Keller could see her guests through the windows and they are able to converse via cellphone.

Bob Haugen said the Kellers were charter members of Woodmont Baptist Church and Turtle Point Country Club.

Keller Hall at the University of North Alabama was named after Jess Keller's uncle, James Albert Keller, who was president of Florence State Teacher's College from 1937-1948.

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