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Mary Ellen Keil
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Birth: 1915
Bowling Green
Wood County
Ohio, USA
Death: Jun. 15, 2002
Franklin County
Ohio, USA

Mary Ellen Keil passed away on Saturday, June 15, 2002 at Columbus Alzheimer's Care Center. She was born in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1915 and attended elementary and high school there. She received her Bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University and her Master's degree from The Ohio State University. She taught high school in Powell, Ohio and elementary school in Massachusetts, and in 1943 she was selected to join the Women's Air Force Service Pilots of World War II. In the WASP, she piloted several different types of aircraft and was one of forty-six WASP selected to fly the Martin Marauder B-26 bomber. She was then sent to Boise, Idaho where she flew the B-26 that towed targets for the anti-aircraft gunners to shoot at. She used to say that many times she found holes in the tail of the B-26 when she landed. The WASP was disbanded in 1944, so Mary Ellen and a fellow WASP bought an airfield and airplanes in Belding, Michigan where they sold airplanes and taught flying until 1950. At that time, she sold the business and moved to Columbus. She worked at North American Aviation for a time writing pilot handbooks on how to fly one type of fighter plane. Then she taught elementary school spending most of the thirty years at Maryland Ave, School in Bexley, and retired in 1976. In addition to her home, she owned a cottage at Catawba Cliffs at Lake Erie, a 26-foot boat, flew her own airplane in the Angel and Powder Puff Derbies. She was active in the Women's Movement in the 1970's, director of the Eastern Division of the WASP, a member of the 99's Women's Pilots and the Ohio Retired Teachers Association. To those who knew her, she will be remembered as a pioneer, a mentor, a teacher and a friend. She shared her gifts of knowledge, strength, humor, wit and humility, and touched many lives. Visiting hours will be Monday 4-6 p.m. at SCHOEDINGER MID-TOWN CHAPEL, 229 E. State St. Interment service, 1 p.m. Tuesday at Oak Grove Cemetery, Bowling Green, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make contributions to the Alzheimer's Association of Central Ohio, 3380 Tremont Rd., Columbus 43221


Women's Air Force Service Pilot, World War II

Bowling Green State University has named a scholarship in her honor:

Mary Ellen Keil Scholarship

Family links: 
  Frank A Keil (1876 - 1947)
  Zella M Ward Keil (1886 - 1917)
  Franklin A Keil (1913 - 1954)*
  Mary Ellen Keil (1915 - 2002)
*Calculated relationship
Oak Grove Cemetery
Bowling Green
Wood County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Sec. 5B
Created by: Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
Record added: Sep 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97188763
Mary Ellen Keil
Added by: Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
Mary Ellen Keil
Added by: Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
Mary Ellen Keil
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Janet L. Parker
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

In memory of this honored graduate of Bowling Green State University, B.S. Education
- Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
 Added: Nov. 9, 2016
Women veteran
- Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
 Added: Nov. 9, 2016
In honor of your service to our country
- Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
 Added: Nov. 9, 2016

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