Mary Jo Pentz-Keppler

January 05, 1937 ‒ March 31, 2018

Bellville, Ohio

BELLVILLE: Mary Jo Pentz-Keppler of Bellville, Ohio passed away at home March 31, 2018.

Mary Jo was born in Hunawihr, France in January 1937.  Her parents were Josephine Stoessel Keller and Camille Keller.  She was the second youngest of nine sisters in her family.  Mary Jo immigrated to the United States in 1957 and married Dr. Matthew Pentz. They moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1959 and a few years later settled in Bellville, Ohio.

She was an inspiration to many in the community and saw the good in everyone she met. She was an avid reader and also learned to sew at an early age in her native France. She became an excellent seamstress in her teen years and was so talented that she was able to open up a small dress shop in Columbus, Ohio. She was highly recognized for her work and was asked to sew dresses even for the Governor´s wife and family. She was also an accomplished needlepoint artist.

Mary Jo was preceded in her death by her first husband, Dr. Matthew Pentz in 1998 and her third daughter, Nicole Pentz in 1980.

Mary Jo is survived by her second husband, Douglas Keppler, and four of her daughters, Dr. Judith Pentz; Gabrielle Pentz Ryan; Andrea Mathwich; Mimie Vahue and their families including nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  She also raised one of her granddaughters, Danielle, from birth to age 5 while her daughter, Judith was in Medical School and this gave her great joy.

Mary Jo has been a strong supporter of the Bellville community where she lived for over 50 years. She also has volunteered countless hours with Resurrection Parish in Lexington. She supported numerous religious and Catholic missionary groups throughout her life. She loved to travel including numerous trips to support her children and their families wherever they lived around the world. She also established and maintains a Scholarship Fund through the Clear Fork Valley Foundation in honor of her daughter, Nicole Pentz.  Mary Jo was also a long term member of the choir at Resurrection Parish and that is where she met Douglas Keppler, who became her second husband, just two years ago.

Her family will receive friends today, Tuesday, April 3, 2018 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where vigil services will begin at 8pm.  Mass of Christian burial will be offered Wednesday, at 10:30 am at Resurrection Parish, 2600 Lexington Avenue, Lexington, Ohio 44904.  The Rev. Father Nelson Beaver will officiate and burial will follow in Oak Grove Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Resurrection Parish or The Nicole Pentz Memorial Scholarship Fund may be made through the funeral home.

Online condolences to her family may be made by


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  • I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’ll always remember how kind she was. We were so lucky to have you guys as our neighbors growing up…in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Hi Kelly: thank you!
      It’s great to hear from you. Yes, we had fun with my mom didn’ we? Andrews road was a great place to grow up.
      I hope all are alive and well with you and yours.
      Andrea Mathwich

  • I am so so sorry for the loss of your dear mother.. we lived across from you up on the hill for several years and my daughters and you girls became very good friends my heart goes out to you girls and my thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time.. she was a beautiful lady I always admired..
    My deepest Sympathy to all of you
    Mrs. Thomas (Linda) Mast

  • You have my deepest sympathy. Your Mother was one very special lady. I am so glad our paths crossed. I had the pleasure of taking her to therapy when she got her knee replaced. She shared lots of stories of her life and her family that she loved so dearly. Then she shared with me when she met Doug. He surely has my deepest sympathy also. It was great you shared these last year’s of her life with happiness. She sure was an inspiration in my life as she was to many others. Feel blessed to have known Mary Jo.

  • Mimie, So sorry for your loss. Your mom was such a caring person and I know the community will miss her.Praying for comfort and peace. Jennie Johnston Vuduris

  • So sorry for the loss of your mother! What an awesome lady! I loved living by you guys and all the animals! Hugs and prayers!!

  • I was saddened to hear of Mary Jo’ s passing. I always enjoyed our talks when would meet.
    It was a pleasure having “three out of five” of you girls in my kindergarten class! Your family
    was a wonderful addition to the Valley. You have my deepest sympathy!
    Jane H. Kurdzel

  • I did not know Mary Jo well, but remember her lovely smile & kind nature. May your memories & faith sustain you.

  • I am so sad to hear this. She was a bright light in our parish and will be truly missed. I pray she is experiencing the joy and peace of her heavenly home, and that Doug and her family will find comfort.

  • What a wonderful family that Mrs. Pentz raised. My deepest sympathy to all of her children.

  • My deepest sympathies. My memories of Mary Jo are as a child. I was friends with Nicky. The hours spent feeding the birds and riding horses were some of the best. I will always remember the kindness of Mary Jo as we returned home. Blessings to the family.

  • Our deepest condolence to the entire family. Mary Jo was a wonderful friend and neighbor to our mother Gerri Leedy. We will greatly miss her beautiful smile.
    Steve Leedy and Becky (Leedy) Szymanski.

  • I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My memories are us as kids growing up across from one another and Mary Jo always being so kind. Mom worked for Dr. Pentz and we all got along so well. If she were here she would be so devastated to hear of your loss as she was when Dr. Pentz passed. Gabby I’ll never forget my earliest memories of playing from sun up to sun down and your moms homemade pizza. She was always such an inspiration to me, you girls are so blessed to have had such wonderful parents. My deepest sympathy goes out to all of the family, may your memories and faith be with you through this trying time.

  • I knew Mary Jo for such a short time. She was a lovely person inside and out. I enjoyed hearing her stories and her humor. She truly loved Doug very deeply. I am glad that she had his love and companionship during her illness. My sympathy goes out to all of the family. It is always difficult when a loved one dies. Doug, I am so sorry that you have now lost the love of your life for the second time. I pray that God will give you comfort, strength, mercy and grace to endure the days ahead.