Today is the memorial service for Helga Keller, a dear friend who has changed so many lives. Since the first weekend in Bloomington, Helga has been a surrogate grandmother for me. We met after church the first weekend I was here and had an instant bond: A German immigrant, her first home in America was my hometown – Murray, Kentucky – and she knew many friends from home. She also was the administrative assistant for Douglas Hofstadter, one of the major inspirations for coming to Indiana. These common bonds of faith, people, and place brought us together throughout the years.
There are so many things for which I am extremely grateful to her. One day I sent her an e-mail inquiring about the CopyCat program and where I could find articles about it. She responded with a three-page e-mail, with the article attached, links to all subsequent research, contact information for all of the authors, an offer to introduce me to them, and an invitation to the CRCC lab meetings. As if that weren’t enough, the next time I encountered her she gave me an autographed copy of the book the study appeared in, along with photocopies of the articles mentioned in the e-mail.
This is but one of many stories of her overwhelming kindness and dedication. May she rest in peace.