In Memory of Robert M. Keir
Born: June 6, 1905
Died: July 9, 2011
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00p.m., July 29, 2011, at the Grace United Methodist Church in Spencer.
Pastor Paul Hansen
Visitation will be prior to the service at the church.
"The Old Rugged Cross"
"How Great Thou Art"
By Bill Lauritzen
ORGANIST: Gretchen Hagedorn
Robert M. Keir
June 6, 1905 - July 9, 2011
After a very long and productive life, Robert Keir passed away peacefully at the age of 106 at Longhouse Residence in Spencer on Saturday, July 9, 2011.
Robert MacArthur Keir, son of Roy Keir and Zada Corsaut, was born June 6, 1905 near Nemaha, Iowa. Bob attended North School in Spencer through 5th grade. When his family returned to Sac County in 1917 he attended a rural school through 8th grade. Following graduation from
Sac City High School in 1923, he went on to study Animal Husbandry at Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Ames, graduating in 1927. Upon graduation, he returned to farm with his father in Sac County. In 1933, he began farming in Riverton Township in Clay County.
On February 6, 1935, Bob married Lana Grace Peeso, daughter of Louis B. Peeso and Flora Webb of Spencer. (Lana's grandfather, Melvin Peeso, was the first white man to build a general store.) Bob and Lana were parents to three sons: Richard Erle, twins, Kendall Webb and Wendell Louis, and a daughter Heidi. After the death of his wife Lana in 1960, he married Eileen Genevieve Claer, daughter of Patrick (P.J.) Claer and Mary Ellen Dailey, in 1962.
In 1941, Bob became an active member of the Republican Party, at which time he was elected to the Iowa State Senate as the first Clay County person elected to represent Northwest Iowa in the Senate. He served two terms from 1941 to 1949. While in the Senate he was chair of the Appropriations Committee for two years. Following his tenure in the Senate, he served on the Iowa Highway Commission from 1949 through 1955, and later a second term from 1961-1963. He was also Director of Iowa Good Roads Association Inc. from 1963-1982. During this time he continued to farm southwest of Spencer.
Bob actively participated in his Spencer community. He was involved in the Clay County Fair from 1933 with yearly attendance through 2010.
He was President of the Clay County Fair from
1957-1966. He was the President of Clay County Farm Bureau from 1937-1939 and President of the Clay County Boy Scouts from 1942-1950. Bob served on the Clay County Board of Supervisors from 1963-1964 and
1973-1974. He was Clay County Clerk of Court from 1965-1973. He joined Kiwanis in 1978, was President of the organization in 1985-1986, and attended the weekly meetings until recently. He was also very active in the 4-H clubs of Riverton Township
for many years. As a life long member of the Grace United Methodist Church, he taught Adult Sunday School and served on numerous church committees for over 60 years.
Bob Keir had a comprehensive sense of history of Spencer, Clay County, and the State of Iowa. He was directly involved in relevant policies from 1940 to 1974. Bob had the ability to identify the core issues in problems and was most willing to share his insights with humor and understanding to those who were interested. He was always eager to engage in conversations and lively discussions. He could easily recall his early childhood experiences and all those throughout his life. Bob's heart was attached to his farm, but he could be called a “Renaissance man” as he had many interests ranging from religion to agriculture to politics to highways to law and to fishing.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Lana in 1960, his second wife Eileen in 1995, his son Kendall in 2006, and his sister Hazelle Schmuecker in 2007. He is survived by his children: Richard (Grace) Keir of Mankato, Minnesota, Wendell (Sherran) Keir of Spencer, Heidi (Ernie) Galer of Iowa City; his five grandchildren: Jason Keir, Natasha (Tom) Houselog, Kate Hawkins, Kara (Brent) Kimm, and Nathan (Sarah) Galer; and by his seven great grandchildren: Izabel and Ben Houselog, Morgan Hawkins, TJ and Shelby Kimm, and Dominik and Kai Galer.
Bob’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Adams family: Madalyn, Bryan, Doug, Rick and Marcy; as well as Clare Wheeler, the late Winnie Houston and the late Marion Pullen for their many years of friendship and kindness they bestowed on Bob.
The family also wishes to thank the dedicated staff of Longhouse and Riverview Terrace for the excellent care and attention they gave Bob these past seven years.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
Grace United Methodist Church, Golden K. Kiwanis, Longhouse, or Parker Historical Museum.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
I WISH TO SEND MY CONDOLENCES TO MY UNCLE FAMILY HEIDI AND ERNIE FOR THE LOSS OF HER FATHER . BOB WAS A WONDERFUL MAN AND HE AND EILEEN WERE OF GREAT HELP TO MY LATE MOTHER RITA LEARY . HE DID SO MUCH FOR SO MANY PEOPLE AND WAS WONDERFUL TO MY CHILDREN DAWN AND WES AS WELL WHEN WE LIVED IN SPENCER . I WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WELL, AND GOD BLESS . TERRY
TERESE M SORENSEN
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Bob was a great man and I felt blessed to be able to know him. My heart and prayers are with you has you go through this tring time.
Linda from RVT
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
So sorry to hear of Bob's passing. He was such a wonderful guy and so much fun!! I worked at Riverview Terrace and truly enjoyed him. I used to be at the front desk before I retired and relocated.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Heidi, thinking of you. Know you have many great memories of your father.
Your third grade classmate.
Nancy Shelton Wolthuis
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I am so sorry to hear Mr. Keir has passed away. I worked with him in the Clay Co. Clerk's Office and couldn't have had a better more caring boss. I loved his smile and his sense of humor. We have lost a great man.
Cindy (Francis) Buren
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Spencer lost a legend. Many lost a friend.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Our prayers are with you, Heidi, Dick, Wendell & families. How fortunate you were to have your Dad with you for so many years. Now he's experiencing a joyful reunion with Lana & Eileen. Our deepest sympathy to all.
Wilma Solomon, Phil Solomon & Sue Solomon Kent
Sue M Kent
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Sorry to hear of Mr. Keir's passing, while acknowledging that he had a very long life and his days were getting harder for him. I stopped to see him the week of his birthday. We are always appreciative of the kindness and generosity shown to our mother, Anita Dyhrkopp. Robert Keir's life service to Spencer and the state of Iowa are gifts that have a lasting impact. We offer our condolences to the family. Joanne Dyhrkopp Schar Carol Dyhrkopp Cadmus Donna Dyhrkopp Clarke
Joanne K Schar
Sunday, July 10, 2011
So sorry to hear of your loss and my prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.
Raymond E. Russell
Saturday, July 09, 2011
I feel very privileged to have known this wonderful man. I am so sorry for your loss.
Lori Hoberg Adams