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Remembering Sue Keller

Sue Keller, LCSW, LAS '92, MSW '14

Sue Keller image with

A Lifetime of Service

Sue Keller grew up in Palatine, IL, and settled in Champaign-Urbana after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She worked in mental health and social work throughout her career, from Crisis Line and the Mental Health Center of Champaign County (later Provena Behavioral Health and Community Elements) to the Men’s Emergency Shelter. After returning to the UIUC School of Social Work for her MSW, Sue became a counselor for the UIUC Faculty/Staff Assistance Services. After becoming an LCSW, she also opened a sliding-fee-scale private practice to help those who could not otherwise afford counseling.

Sue served as the president of the Board of Directors of the Downstate Illinois Society for Clinical Social Work (ISCSW), providing low-cost continuing education for social workers and other mental health providers. She played a pivotal role in the operations of the organization and was the first person everyone interacted with when they came to monthly continuing education trainings. Sue was a great board member, an excellent Social Worker, and an amazing friend – everyone loved Sue. When she passed, the ISCSW board knew that they wanted to do something to honor her memory and her legacy as a Social Worker in the community. In that spirit, the board decided to create the Sue Keller Memorial Scholarship and provide support for the education of future MSW Social Workers pursuing careers in Mental Health.

Sue loved nature and travel and could often be found on road trips to destinations near and far. Her other favorite activities were spending time with family and volunteering. She was a tireless volunteer at her children’s schools and in the community. She was a soccer coach for the Urbana Park District and volunteered with the UHS Soccer Boosters. Sue worked with NAMI Champaign and organized Champaign County Recovers, which linked people in need with donors, volunteers, and existing resources during the early days of the pandemic. Armed with an exhaustive knowledge of area resources, finding the perfect match between someone in need and the right person to help them was one of her many gifts.

Sue found joy in everything; if it wasn’t there to begin with, she would create it. Her infectious laugh, gentle humor, and relentless positivity will be missed by all who knew her.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can support this scholarship, please contact Nathan Goebel at 217-244-4709 or

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