Columbus — Joseph “Joe” Keiter, 93, Columbus, died Oct. 10, 2020, at the Columbus Community Hospital.
Mass of Christian Burial is 10:30 a.m., Oct. 15, at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, Columbus. Visitation without the family present is on Wednesday, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., with a Vigil service to follow at 7 p.m., all at St. Bonaventure Church.
The Vigil and Funeral will be broadcast on the McKown Funeral Home Facebook page.
Interment is in All Saints Cemetery, with Military Honors by Hartman Post #84 American Legion Honor Guard.
Masks and social distancing will be practiced at the Vigil and Funeral.
Joe was born Jan. 8, 1927, to Christina (Burbach) and Joe Keiter Sr. in a farmhouse west of Hartington. He attended grade school at Northwest Star District 19, a single room schoolhouse. He worked with his dad and brothers on the farm, tilling the ground with horse drawn equipment and raising cattle, sheep and hogs. At age 14, he began working at Green Acres Hybrid Seed Corn Company, Hartington. He entered military service in 1943, where he served in the Paratroopers 11th Airborne Division in Occupied Japan, as a T4 Cook. He took over the family farm in 1947, following his discharge. Joe married Margaret Wieseler at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, St. Helena, Oct. 7, 1952. Joe’s father lived with them on the farm until his father’s death in 1963. While on the farm, Joe enjoyed gardening, cooking and raising his children.
In 1964, Joe set a new national record for hand-picking corn in an 11-hour day. A favorite ‘hobby’ was butchering and processing meat in the farmhouse basement during the winter months from 1968 until 1990.
Joe was a founding member of the Perpetual Adoration ministry at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Hartington, where he held an hour of weekly adoration for over 50 years. Joe was also a trustee of Holy Trinity Parish, Hartington. He served on the ASCS Board for four years and was elected Cedar County Commissioner for eight years. He was an avid card player, and enjoyed Sheepshead, Pitch and Pinochle. He and his wife were members of a rural card club for 25 years while living in Hartington.
Joe retired from farming in 2000, and he and Margaret moved to Columbus in September 2008.
Joe was a member of St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, a life-long member of the VFW, Legion of Mary, Perpetual Adoration and was a 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus.
Joe is survived by his eight children, Mary (Vern) Seier, Norfolk; Carol (Dave) Gubbels, Baudette, Minn.; Bob (Jolene) Keiter, Gretna; Dave (Diane) Keiter, Kearney; Dan (Belinda) Keiter, Columbus; Jean (Chris) Hrabe, Salina, Kan.; Larry (Laura) Keiter, Lincoln; Dianne Keiter, Columbus; 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, brothers, Charlie and Paul; sister, Christine Keiter; granddaughter, Tasha Keiter; and great-granddaughters, Willow Keiter and Brylee Dreifurst.
The family requests no flowers or plants be sent. In lieu of flowers and plants, memorials can be made to St. Bonaventure Project 2020 or Cystic Fibrosis. Remembrances can be sent at www.mckownfuneralhome.com