William “Bill” Henry Keyser was born Feb. 6, 1937, in Mandan, N. D. He passed away quietly on April 12, 2018, in Salem, Ore. His wife and children were by his side.
The son of a wheat rancher, he enjoyed his early years on the family farm. After his father’s premature death, Bill, along with his family, lived along the Columbia River making homes in Vancouver, Cascade Locks and Hood River, where he graduated in 1956 as Student Body President and all-conference football player.
Bill married his wife of 62 years, Kay Frances Loyd, in 1956 and they moved to La Grande, Ore., where he graduated from Eastern Oregon State College with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Bill obtained his master’s degree from Eastern in 1965 and had a distinguished career as a school teacher and administrator including positions in the Milton-Freewater School District, The Dalles School District, Hood River School District, Salem School District and as superintendent of a private school district in Ephrata, Wash.
After his retirement from education, Bill and Kay settled in the Walla Walla Valley living in both Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater where Bill served as director of the Milton-Freewater Chamber of Commerce. Becoming “snowbirds”, Bill and Kay bought a home in the Palm Springs area where they wintered for several years before health issues caused them to return full-time to a home in The Dalles.
Throughout his life, Bill was an avid golfer, dedicated husband, father and grandfather, and active in his community. He is remembered by friends and family as a kind and compassionate man. His grandson, Levon, echoed what many feel when he wrote, “I don’t think I will have a better example of how a man should live his life.”
Bill was preceded in death by his father, Dwight Fernes Keyser, mother, Louise Edna Keyser, and brother, Ronald Keyser.
He is survived by his wife, Kay; son, Boyd Keyser; daughters, Cynthia Babcock and Kelly Martinez; grandchildren, Ryan, Robert and Kathryn Keyser, Levon and Sammie Rector, Karsten Lange and Karly Lange Gatchet; great-grandchildren, Carter Gatchet and Winston Keyser; sisters, Ilah Glazier, Sylvia Van Winkle, Sharon Nichols, Velva Dillow and Jewel Sisneros; and members of the extended Loyd Family.
Per his request, Bill’s ashes will be scattered in the Columbia River at a time yet to be determined. Information on Bill’s life and an opportunity to post your own remembrance can be found at www.cornwell colonial.com.
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