Ardys A. Keilholtz


Ardys Ann (Schaffner) Keilholtz, 89, went to join her husband Charles on March 5, 2023 surrounded by her family. Ardys was born to Alpha Annamarie (Dressendorfer) and Allen Schaffner on September 20, 1933 at their Fountain City, WI home. She attended and graduated from Fountain City Schools in 1952. Ardys earned her Teacher Certificate from Winona Teacher College. She met Charles Keilholtz at a basketball game and it was a match! They were married on October 10, 1954 at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Fountain City. After their marriage, they moved to Mount Holly, NJ where Charles was stationed in the Air Force and Ardys taught first grade to 52 children. They returned home to Fountain City after Charles left the service to start their family.

Ardys was involved in many Fountain City activities: she was founding member of the Fountain City Historical Society (she fondly referred to it as the Hysterical Society); completed two terms as a Cochrane-Fountain City School board member; chaired the Fountain City German Christmas celebrations; co-chaired the 150th Fountain City anniversary parade; was a member of St. John’s United Church of Christ and participated in all of her family’s extracurricular activities.

Once her children were in school, she proudly acquired her driver’s license and earned her Elementary Education degree from Winona State. She then taught kindergarten at C-FC Schools for two years. Ardys dearly loved her family and her home on the river. She was an avid reader, collector of antique china and dolls, quilter, sewer, and volunteer. Although she was confined to her home for the greater share of time in the past years, she kept an interest in local affairs, showing a keen sense of observation and perspective. Mom touched the lives and hearts of many by her kindness and wonderful sense of humor. Her love for her husband, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will be her legacy.

Ardys is survived by: her three daughters Kim Keilholtz, Paula Haines, and Chrisanne (Robert) Pieper, all of Rochester, MN; and one son, Kevin (Tina) Keilholtz of Elgin, MN. She adored her six grandchildren: Nathan (Libby) Haines, Analise (Benjamin) Krolak, and Abigail (Nicholas) Kusler, Trevor (Katherine) Keilholtz, Benjamin (Ashley) Keilholtz, and Brooke (Drew) Feils. Mom fondly referred to her great-grandchildren as “The Littles”-- Blythe and Bramm Krolak and Hudson Kusler. She is also survived by her special friend and sister-in-law Kathy Lucey, La Crosse, WI along with many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Ardys was preceded in death by: her parents and husband of 55 blessed years; her sister, Bette Schaffner; her brothers Gordon and James Schaffner; her son-in-law, Gary Haines; her brothers-in-law Jack Lucey and Duane Keilholtz; and her sister-in-law, Esther Skjerly.

We wish to thank the staff of Samaritan Bethany Essex House 5th floor and Season’s Hospice in Rochester for their love and care of mom. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Research, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905 in our parent’s names or to the charity of your choice.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

“My mind still talks to you. My heart still looks for you. My soul knows you are at peace.”

Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home & Crematory, Winona, MN. Online condolences can be left at

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