Cornelia "Kate" DeVries Keppel (July 7, 1870 - November 26, 1956) grew up in Zeeland, Michigan. Her parents, Jan and Everdina DeVries, were among the first pioneers to the area. As a young girl, Kate was an accomplished horsewoman and excellent pianist. She enrolled in Chicago Musical College at age 16, studying piano and organ. Graduating in 1887, Kate came back to Western Michigan and gave private lessons.
She married Albert Keppel on June 6, 1893 and had five daughters: Evelyn (b. 1894), Ruth (b. 1896), Vera Jane (b. 1900), Kathryn (b. 1904), and Lois (b. 1909). Kate and Albert made their first home on 7th and College Ave. In 1914, after the girls were almost grown, they moved to a new brick house at 85 East 10th Street, which is still standing today, albeit further east down the street.
During her adult life, Kate was a member of the Women's Literary Club, Women's Missionary Society of Hope Reformed Church, Ladies Aid Society, and Holland Garden Club. She enjoyed accompanying her daughters on piano and encouraged them all to study music. Following in her footsteps were Evelyn and Ruth, as both studied at Chicago Musical College. She also enjoyed traveling and took several trips with her husband and family throughout her lifetime. Of her travels, she put together several scrapbooks, which include photographs and postcards from the places they visited.
It seems that Kate was often sick during her later life. After losing her husband, Albert, in 1939, she was taken care of by Ruth for the remainder of her life. She died on November 26, 1956 after a two week stay in the hospital. Her illnesses are unknown.