L. Thomas Keiser, 89, of Charles City passed away Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the 11th St. Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City.
A private family service will be held.
Tom was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on March 23, 1927 to Lyle and Mildred (Gillihan) Keiser. He graduated from Charles City High School in 1945. He was a proud member of the CC football team and continued loving the game his whole life always rooting for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He attended Iowa State for a short time before enlisting in the Army where he was a member of the Army Band playing tuba. At the end of the war he marched down Michigan Avenue in Chicago with the Army Band to celebrate the end of WWII.
On February 13, 1949 he married Shirley E. Trowbridge in Charles City. They have two daughters, Deborah Nelson and Denise Holzer.
Tom worked as a salesman for Hormel Foods, St. Louis Music and Wurlitzer Company. For one year Tom, Shirley and Deb traveled with the Leo Pieper Big Band across the south western states and even had the privilege of playing on the same stage with Bob Hope. Tom played the string bass and drove the bus for the band. Shirley followed them in their car with Deb. When he returned to Charles City he continued being involved in music playing tuba in municipal band, singing in church choir and was a member of the Charles City Singers for many years.
On May 1, 1968 he bought Van Rees Music that was destroyed May 15 by the Charles City tornado. He later changed the name to Keiser Music. He and Shirley had the business for over 20 years. He then became a real estate agent working many years for Bill Harrold and then opened his own office, New Age Realty. He also managed several properties in town under Keiser Realty.
Tom’s loves were family, music, politics, golf and football. He was deeply involved in various organizations, serving many positions as a realtor both locally, nationally and at the state level receiving the highest award at the state level, the O.G. Powell Award in 2003. He was a staunch Republican, served on the hospital board for nine years, Charles City Area Development, Chamber, Lions Club, and he pushed hard to get defibrillators placed in different places in town. Tom and Shirley were able to travel many places together and also several vacations with the entire family.
The family greatly appreciates the loving, compassionate care given to Tom while residing at 11th St. Chautauqua and especially in his last days.
Surviving family include his wife, Shirley of 67 years, daughters Deb (Perry) Nelson, Red Wing, MN and Denise Holzer (special friend Mark), Charles City, granddaughters Jennifer Nelson, Nicole Nelson, Jessica (Tony) Jeffries, Katie (Zach) Sullivan, and 5 great grandchildren, Bret, Cole, Hunter, Dalanie and Bryant. Sister-in-law Joan Cook, Dallas, TX, brother-in-law Ron Felt, Albert Lea, MN and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lyle and Mildred Keiser, his sister, Shirley Ann Felt and his in-laws Delbert and Ethel Trowbridge.
Family prefers memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association, Charles City Singers or First Congregational Church in Charles City.
Hauser Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, in Charles City, is in charge of local arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hauserfh.com.