In the early morning hours of May 5, 2021 Hilda Katherine “Kay” Keister departed this realm just a few short weeks shy of her 105th birthday. Kay was the youngest of three children born to Friedrich and Katherine Weber. Being a number of years younger than her brother Ben and sister Edna, Kay spent a lot of time by herself reading about the outside world beyond the family farm near Friend, Nebraska. She also learned handicrafts from her mother. Those skills would serve her well throughout her long life, continuing her crafts into the last decade of her life.
In the late 1930s, she met Carl Keister. The couple were married in May 1941. Six months later, World War II broke out, eventually sending Carl to New Guinea. After the war, three boys followed in rapid succession; Dave in 1946, Doug in 1948 and Kim in 1950.
Although raising three boys was a full-time job, Kay added to the household income by making doll clothes, doing piecework, typing and participating in community organizations. In 1961, she became one of the first employees of Cliff’s Notes, which was started in the basement of a home in Lincoln, Nebraska. She continued working for Cliff’s Notes for many years. After her retirement, she set off to explore the world she had read about as a child, including traveling to a number of European countries as well as Russia and Mexico.
Well into her eighties, Kay continued to volunteer at senior care facilities to “help out the old folks”. Summing up a life well-lived is a difficult task. Hopefully this snapshot is a window into what amounts to a remarkable long and adventurous life. Miss you Mom; Dave, Doug and Kim Keister.
In addition to her three sons, Kay is survived by two granddaughters, Katie and Shawna, a grandson Brian, three step-grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, broaden your horizons by traveling or reading a book about somewhere you’ve never been before.