Michael James Keyser; “Papa Kemo”, to his children and grandchildren, passed away peacefully and went home to his Lord and Savior on October 2, 2018. His last act was walking a stretch of the Chisholm Trail in Newton, KS. He was 81 years old, and a miracle given his health issues. He never complained and took on the challenge of each day in spite of his health, with resolve and courage. He was one tough dude. His great friend and companion, Shelia Oakes, and brothers Rob and Bill were with him when he passed.
Michael was born May 30, 1937 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first-born of James Farrington Keyser and Margaret Ballard Keyser. One of his proudest accomplishments, Mike attained his Eagle Scout Award in 1951. He attended East High School in Salt Lake City and graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, PA in 1956. Mike then attended Princeton University and attained a B.A. degree in English, graduating in 1960. Mike was quick with a joke (with an affinity for telling the same one again and again with a twinkle in his eyes), and was always up for adventure. His love for the great outdoors was a joy throughout his life. He felt closest to God while enjoying His splendor.
Michael met his wife, Judith Winget, and fell madly in love. They were married on June 27, 1963 in Parleys Ward, in Salt Lake City. They divorced 22 years later, however, while Judith was in her last stages of cancer in 2003, they became friends again and made their peace before her passing. Mike and Judy were parents to three children: Matthew (Michelle) Keyser, Stephanie (Peter) Farrell and Kathalijn (David) Pearlman, and grandparents to Corey, Chris and Cassie Keyser and Daniel, Emily, Jon, David and James Farrell.
Michael loved hiking, woodworking and writing; he was always busy with his hobbies and interests. Michael had a servant’s heart and felt called to serve the community in which he lived and the Lord he came to know later in life. Michael served on the Hudson, Ohio Park Board, the Hudson Jaycees, The Cuyahoga County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, and the Wadsworth, Ohio Library to name a few. He loved his book clubs and Bible studies and the friends he met there lifted his spirits throughout his later years.
Michael was an accomplished author of four books and many short stories. He published Jakes Journey, It Must Be Perfect, Tales of the Circle P and Carpe Viam. He was working on a Civil War novel at the time of his passing. He so enjoyed his writing craft, he brought him great joy and satisfaction to write. It was his calling.
Michael was a member of the Wadsworth United Methodist Church and formed deep bonds with his friends there. He attributed his being saved to his daughter-in-law Michelle and Pastor and friends, Kurt and Nancy Landerholm. The church was a source of true joy for Michael as it paved a way for him in his journey home.
Michael is survived by his brothers Paul Keyser of Salt Lake City, Rob Keyser of Newton, KS, William Keyser of Sugarland, TX, and sister, Martha Keyser of North Myrtle Beach, SC.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at 11 am at Wadsworth United Methodist Church, 195 Broad Street, Wadsworth, Ohio. Calling hours will be from 10 to 11 am, prior to service. Family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations to his church or the Michael J Fox Foundation would be more than welcome and very much appreciated.