Robert Ray Keister, age 88, passed away peacefully on November 7, 2022, surrounded by his three children.
Robert was born in Mason City, Iowa, to Raymond and Marie Keister, on November 22, 1933. He graduated from Mason City High School in 1951. On September 10, 1955, he was united in marriage to Carmen L. Carlin at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, AK. He attended Wartburg College, Waverly, IA, and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He earned his Master of Science Degree from Winona State College in 1962. Robert served in the Marine Reserves from 1952 to 1954 and served on active duty in the United States Army from 1954 through 1956.
He coached football and track at Omaha South High School, Omaha Nebraska, from 1958 to 1961. He also taught and coached at Winona State University in football, track and wrestling from 1961 through to his retirement in 1993. From 1971 through 1975, Bob was Head Football Coach, leading the All-Conference Championship in 1973; this honor was lost on the record books at the end of that season due to a technicality of one of the players on the roster being declared ineligible. The players remember what they did.
He is survived by three children, Beth A. Keister of Golden Valley, MN, Bruce C. Keister (Martha), of Lyndon Station, WI, and Karin L. Althage (Curt), of Imperial, MO, along with grandchildren Robert A. Althage, and Julia C. Althage, both of St. Louis, MO, and Samantha Keister of Lyndon Station, WI.
He was a member of St. Martin’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Winona, Minnesota.
A funeral service to celebrate Bob’s earthly life and life-eternal with Jesus Christ, his Savior, will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at Central Lutheran Church, in Winona, Minnesota, with a visitation at the church from 10 AM until the time of the service. Pastor William E. Flesch will officiate. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, where the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona will provide military honors.
A gathering for former players and friends is being held at the Plaza on Winona’s east end following the Service.
Memorial gifts may be directed to the Robert Keister Memorial Scholarship, an endowed scholarship that awards two WSU football scholarships annually, one to a defensive lineman and one to an offensive lineman. Cards may be mailed to Robert Keister, 620 Wesley Commons Dr., Ste #27, Golden Valley, MN 55427.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Bob’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.