Bernard J. Kieser, age 73, of Paynesville, formerly of Waverly, died Sunday, Dec.30, 2007, at the Paynesville Hospital.
He was born Oct. 16, 1934, in Victor Township to Raymond Martin and Clara Annie (nee Habisch) Kieser. Bernard was raised in the Winsted area and belonged to Holy Trinity Catholic Church of Winsted, where he was both baptized and confirmed, and attended the church’s school.
At the age of 18 months, Bernie won second place in a beautiful baby contest.
Bernie entered the US Army in 1955, and was trained as a sharpshooter. He won second place in an Army marksmanship competition. He also earned his GED certificate while in the service.
After he returned home, Bernie began working for Tonka Toys Incorporated in Mound, where he worked for over 20 years.
Bernie married Deanna Ruth Berger Dec. 28, 1963, whom he met while working for Tonka. Their wedding took place at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. The couple resided in Waverly and raised their family there.
Bernie became an active member of the church, serving as an usher. Bernie and Deanna were blessed with four children and seven grandchildren, as well as many foster children over the years.
For a few years, Bernie worked for Litton Microwave and then for Tool Products. He retired at the age of 66, from Cedar Lake Engineering in Maple Lake, where he worked for a number of years.
An easygoing man, Bernie loved his role as a husband, dad, and grandpa to his wife, kids, and grandkids. When asked, he was willing to help in any way.
He loved nature, whether it be hunting, fishing, or just looking out of the windows of the Waverly Lake home they enjoyed for nearly 45 years.
Bernie loved gardening and sharing his produce with family and neighbors. He also enjoyed football, puzzles, and reading the paper and outdoor magazines. A quick-witted man, Bernie enjoyed the times he and his wife spent with friends on various trips and going to Johnson Lake in Grand Rapids.
Bernie is survived by his wife, Deanna, of Paynesville; children, Robert “Bob” and his wife, Eunice, of Plymouth, Donna and her husband, Chuck Strickland, of Monticello, Linda and her husband, Jody Gueningsman, of South Haven, and Timothy “Tim,” of Paynesville; a brother, Raymond Kieser of St. Paul; a sister, Diane Hughes of Lonsdale; aunt Rosella Remer of Winsted; uncles Eddie Habisch of Alexandria, and Alfred Habisch of Moose Lake; seven grandchildren: Ryan and Erika Kieser, Cole and Alex Gueningsman, and Alysha, Jaden, and Shalyn Strickland; many foster children including Molly McCellan and Karrie Wymer; nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents; aunts; uncles; and recently, sister-in-law Kathy Kieser.
A memorial Mass took place Friday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted, celebrated by Father Bill Sprigler, with visitation two hours before the Mass. Inurnment followed at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Winsted with military honors provided by American Legion Post 407.
Honorary bearers were Bernie’s grandchildren.
The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted served the family.