With heavy hearts and much regret, we announce that our mother, Eva (Keller) Maloney of Port
Richey, Florida went to be with the Lord on the evening of September 2, 2021.
The task of summing up someone’s life, especially your mother’s, in a few paragraphs is the
hardest thing and in fact, completely impossible.
Our mother, Eva, was a strong, fearless, & resilient woman. Those who knew her, saw that she
possessed a fiery spirit and a zest for life. She seemed to need constant change and lots of
sunlight in order to be happy. If she lived in the era of expansion, she would, without a doubt,
fearlessly venture out and stake her claim in the wild west.
Born in South Bend, Indiana on January 11, 1946 to Harry & Ophelia Keller, she was the second
of three daughters, sandwiched between Marina and Barbara. A daddy’s girl from the start, she
was a self-described tomboy who loved helping her father as he worked on cars or worked in
the yard. She didn’t mind getting dirty as long as she was spending time with her dad. These
precious father-daughter moments were undoubtedly her most cherished memories of
childhood. Whenever she spoke of him, her face lit up. He was loving, funny, and made
everyone feel special. As granddaughters, we certainly can agree; he was simply wonderful.
Beautiful in spirit and to the eyes, she was honored to be crowned homecoming queen in high
school. Like many then, she married early. Gary Christy was the lucky groom. Together, they
had 4 daughters: Lori, Carmen, Yvonne and Marcy. As a mother of young children, she was
wonderful. She taught us to treat each other well, supported our education, worked with limited
resources & orchestrated memorable birthdays, holidays, & picnics. Like the tendency of oil and
water to remain separate, she and Gary went their separate ways, after 14 years of marriage.
In 1981, our mom took a bold step and joined the U.S. Air Force as a reservist. She was
honorably discharged in 1987.
In August of 1988, she married Swain “Pen” Barnett, the man she referred to as “the love of my
life”. Together they lived their lives doing their favorite things like motorcycling, enjoying the
outdoors, and working on their property. In March of 1991, she sadly lost Pen to kidney failure.
This loss was completely devastating and something she never fully recovered from.
Seeking a positive change, she relocated to the Gulf Coast of Florida. She fell in love with the
orange state. It’s sunshine, warm weather, and proximity to the ocean were ideal for her. In fact,
she rarely stepped foot back in Indiana after arriving. While there, she had at least 2 constant
companions in her beloved dog, Gizmo and later her “yappy” Pekingese Lucy, who was
affectionately called Lulu.
She is survived by 4 daughters: Lori (Daniel) Steele, Carmen (Kevin) Lillard, Yvonne (John)
Williams, & Marcy (David) Norton; 8 grandchildren: Devin, Aaron, Leshonda, Megan, Ethan,
Erica, Caleb, Kaelen; 4 great grandchildren: Jayce, Bryn, Zion, Crue and
2 sisters: Marina, Barbara
She is preceded in death by her parents, Harry & Ophelia (Goodman) Keller