Cover photo for William Karl Keister Ii's Obituary
William Karl Keister Ii Profile Photo
1930 William 2019

William Karl Keister Ii

October 15, 1930 — February 28, 2019

William Karl Keister, son of William and Bertha (Yager) Keister, was born on October 15, 1930, in Coon Rapids, Iowa. He joined a sister, Lois. His father died in 1933, the same year another sister, Ruth was born. The little family soon moved in with his grandfather, M. B. Keister and he grew to adulthood in that house on 4th Ave and Bridge. Bill graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1949 and attended Grinnell College for 2 years. He then attended tech school in Los Angeles, CA, where he was certified in electronic engineering.


On June 15, 1952, Bill was united in marriage with Roberta Elaine Ford. They had 2 children, Ellen and Wm. ‘Karl’ Keister III. From 1955 thru 1965 Bill ran Bill’s Sundries and Studio on Main St. in Coon. Bill and Roberta kept busy in the photography business with weddings, school pictures, newspaper work and family portraits. In 1964, Bill also served as temporary Postmaster in Coon Rapids. He and Roberta were active in the Democratic Party with the 1964 election, and were district managers for Rep. John R. Hansen, moving to Council Bluffs to run his district office in 1965. This job was short-lived, and Bill went into photography equipment sales, covering Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois. He retired from the road in 2006 at the age of 75. Bill kept busy in retirement with his political interests and his garden where his favorite thing was raising heirloom tomatoes, raising over 2 dozen plants in 2018.


William died Thursday, February 28, 2019 at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, IA


Preceding him in death were his parents, his wife Roberta; and his son ‘Karl’ who died in 2015. He is survived by his sisters: Lois Bevins of Canyon Lake, California, and Ruth Ryan of Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas; his daughter Ellen Keister DeVilbiss and her husband Ken of Brighton, Colorado; Four grandchildren: John DeVilbiss of Brighton; Jason and his wife Ellen R. DeVilbiss of Loveland, Colorado; Michael of Denver, Colorado; and Kayleen of Commerce City, Colorado; Four great-grandchildren: Gianna, Gabriel, Andrew, and Gemma DeVilbiss of Loveland, Colorado and many nieces, nephews and cousins.


In Council Bluffs, a Celebration of Life will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at The Center, 714 South Main. Those wishing to honor him with a memorial may do so by donating to either the Omaha Zoo Foundation or the Loess Hills Preservation Society.


In Coon Rapids, Burial will be followed by a Celebration of Life at the Whiterock Visitors Center from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Those wishing to honor him may do so by donating to the Whiterock Conservancy.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Karl Keister Ii, please visit our flower store.

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