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Gay Rights Activist and Glenview PFLAG Founder Passes Away

After coming to grips with her kids' coming out around 1980, Marilyn Keller of Niles founded PFLAG Glenview, now PFLAG Deerfield, and was surrogate mom, supporter of 100s of LGBTs.

Marilyn Keller. Photo courtesy of Chicago Jewish Funerals.
Marilyn Keller. Photo courtesy of Chicago Jewish Funerals.

A funeral service for Marilyn Keller, nee Newman, a Niles resident since the 1950s and wife of the late Jerry, will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie. 

After both her daughter and son came out to her as lesbian and gay in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Marilyn Keller became "among the most consistent and visible PFLAG activists working for LGBT equality in Illinois," according to WindyCityMediaGroup.com, which covers the gay community.

Marilyn and Jerry visited the Chicago chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and were greeted by many kind and caring people, she said in an interview with ChicagoGayHistory.com. They later founded PFLAG Glenview at the invitation of Congregation B'Nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, their synagogue in Glenview. She remained on the board and an active member for decades.

In that work, Marilyn Keller became an activist for gay political causes, collected signatures on petitions and lobbied in Springfield. 

According to her daughter Lynn Keller's website, Marilyn Keller lived in the home Lynn and her brother Irwin grew up in. 

More information on the funeral is available at Chicago Jewish Funerals. 

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