Following a very active life during her 47 years in Naples, Fla., 32 years in Sapphire Valley and 10 years in Gainesville, Ga., Lori Keller Stuber passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 in Gainesville, Ga.
She gained notoriety in Naples in the early 1960s as co-founder of the Humane Society of Naples Inc., presiding over the building the county’s first humane animal shelter, and having the title of president emeritus bestowed upon her following ten years as president of the local organization. Until the official opening of the society’s first permanent shelter in 1963, she cared for stray animals in her home, while attempting to find loving families for her orphans. She also served as a director of the Florida Federation of Humane Societies for 15 years.
In 2012, she was presented with the Walter Turken Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Humane Society of Naples for her continuing efforts on behalf of animal welfare. The Lori Keller Stuber Cat Atrium provides an example of how humanely pets can be housed and treated in a no-kill shelter, as they await adoption. The atrium eliminates the need for confinement in individual cages.
However, her contributions to the Naples community extend beyond the Humane Society. After moving to Naples, Fla. in June 1959 and being told that there was no Republican Party in Collier County, she informed the voter registrar that, if they registered her as a Republican, they would have a Republican Party. As one of a handful of Republicans who worked hard for a two-party system of government during the 1960s, she helped to elect Collier County’s first Republican candidates by volunteering to do their public relations work.
And following Hurricane Donna in September 1960, when the Small Business Administration was sent to the “disaster area” of Naples by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, she was the only Republican secretary the administration could find to assist in low interest loans.
On Oct. 24, 1930, Dolores “Lori” Elizabeth Johannes was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second daughter of Dr. and Mrs. G. C. Johannes of Oak Park, Illinois. She was a 1948 graduate of Oak Park-River Forest Township High School and attended Loyola University’s School of Nursing and De Paul University.
In 1952, she married the late Walter Leroy Keller, and worked nights until her husband graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois, so that she could be with their two babies during the day.
During the 1960s, she was also the society columnist for the Naples Daily News, writing a popular biweekly column entitled “From the Top Drawer,” in addition to serving on the boards of numerous civic organizations, and singing in the choir of First Presbyterian Church of Naples.
In the 1970s, she became a successful real estate broker and graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI).
Surrounded by family, she married William James “Jim” Stuber (formerly of Rochester, N.Y.) on Christmas Day 1983, followed by a church ceremony on Leap Year Day, Feb. 29, 1984, in Jim’s second home of Tauranga, New Zealand.
In the 1990s, her interests expanded to her latent artistic abilities, antiques, travel, golf, croquet, bridge, mah-jongg, computers, photography and genealogy. She had an infectious laugh and loved to sing in various amateur productions.
In 2006, Lori and Jim retired to Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, Ga. She was a member of Gainesville First United Methodist Church; Cashiers United Methodist Church; Country Club of Sapphire Valley; Humane Society of Naples, Fla.; and Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. She was also a charter seat endower of the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.
She is survived by a daughter, Nancy Elizabeth Keller, Dunedin, Fla.; step-children, James Douglas Stuber (Kwang Suk Park) of Chapel Hill, and Michel Delmar Stuber of Rochester, N.Y.; a daughter-in-law, Karen Keller Danks (Shawn) of Naples, Fla.; and nine grandchildren, Kristin Ahrens, Kurt and Matthew Keller, Blaise Stetson, David Stuber, James Hyuntay Stuber, and Samantha, Heather, and Carington Stuber; in addition to a niece, Judith Bergren Mouden; nephew, Eric Eugene Bergren (Sue); and two great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, William James “Jim” Stuber, in addition to a son, Walter Michael Keller; sister, Elayne Johannes Bergren; stepson, Thomas Adolf Stuber; step-daughter, Nancy Lyn Stuber; and step-son, Tad Stuber.
Interment will follow in the Naples Memorial Gardens Mausoleum at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Collier County Inc., 370 Airport Pulling Road, Naples, FL 34104 or the Cashiers-Highlands Society, P.O. Box 638, Cashiers, NC 28774, or to any no-kill animal rescue facility of your choice.
Final arrangements (cremation) are under the direction of the Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, Ga.
To express condolences, sign the online guest book at www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, Ga., 770-932-1133.