Dr. Lee Keiser, 91, a former long-time resident of Bay Village, Ohio, passed away July 16, 2008, in Parkvue Health Care Center, Sandusky.
Born March 4, 1917, in Sharon, Pa., Dr. Keiser lived most of his adult life in Bay Village, where he was an active member of the community as civic leader and volunteer in youth-related activities. He resided in Sandusky and Huron for the last eight years.
After graduating from Sharon High School in June, 1936, Lee moved with his parents to Lakewood, Ohio. He enrolled that fall at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine where he graduated June, 1939. Dr. Keiser practiced podiatry in Lakewood for several years before joining the U.S. Army in January, 1942. Sailing from San Francisco aboard the USS West Point, he was on the first troop ship to cross the Pacific during World War II. Dr. Keiser served in Australia and New Guinea with the 174th Station and Portable Hospital Unit. In New Guinea, he helped establish an evacuation hospital at Milne Bay during the initial campaign against Japan. Working under primitive conditions, initially without electricity and lacking modern surgical tools, the unit aided the wounded during the worst of the fighting in New Guinea.
Dr. Keiser was reassigned to Crile Hospital in Cleveland in 1944, and married Jean Van Almen of Lakewood in October of that year. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1945, and resumed private practice in the Detroit-Cook Medical Building in Lakewood until his retirement, 48 years later, in 1993.
Lee and Jean Keiser moved their young family to Bay Village in 1948, where they became active in numerous community activities. Lee was President of Bay Men’s Club, President of Bay High Rockets Association and Treasurer of Bay Education System Trustees. He was a member of Bay Recreation Board and Kiwanis. As a member of Bay Presbyterian Church, Dr. Keiser served as Sunday school superintendent, deacon, and elder.
Lee Keiser treated many Bay High School athletes over the years, and may best be remembered for his many years of involvement in youth baseball. He helped with the formation and management of youth baseball programs in Bay during the 50’s and 60’s, at one time or another serving as head of the Little League, Pony League, and Colt League programs. Known to everyone as “Doc,” he was a coach and manager of boys’ baseball teams for 23 years, serving as an example of good citizenship and sportsmanship to a generation of Bay’s youth. In 1975, Lee was honored by Bay Men’s Club when the annual Colt League all-star game was named the “Lee C. Keiser All Star Game.”
Dr. Keiser is survived by his wife, Jean (Van Almen) Keiser; children, Allyn (Anntoinette) Keiser of New Canaan, Conn., Susan (Paul) Todd of Sandusky and John (Virginia) Keiser of Hinsdale, Ill.; grandchildren, Benjamin, Jennifer, Jesse, Patrick and Timothy; great-granddaughter Claire; and great-stepgrandchildren, Caitryna and Steven.
Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by a service in Jenkins Funeral Chapel, 2914 Dover Center Road, Westlake, Ohio. Burial will be in Lakewood Park Cemetery in Rocky River.
Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Bay High Rockets Association P.O. Box 40128, Bay Village, OH 44140 or Bay Village Youth Baseball, 400 Bryson Lane, Bay Village, OH 44140.