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May 06

I AM SIM: Darold Keiser

Posted on May 6, 2019 at 9:41 AM by Molly Fox

Meet our “always smiling” Darold Keiser.

Darold was born and raised in Canby, Minnesota. He is the middle child, with three older and three younger siblings. Darold was raised on a farm where they grew wheat, oats, barley, and raised cattle such as hogs, cows, chickens and much more. The goods their farm produced were either sold or bartered for other supplies at a local store.

Darold went to school in a one-room schoolhouse during his grade school years. During the Great Depression, he had to quit to help with the farm work and never returned to school. He did, however, attend a trade school where he took a general course learning gas and electric, welding, refrigeration, and plumbing along with carpentry skills. 

He served two and a half years in World War II with the Navy as a gunner’s mate. While on the destroyer, Darold experienced different cultures by traveling to the South Pacific Islands; Shanghai, Hong Kong; and Pearl Harbor. His brother also served our country and was actually on a boat when they tested the atomic bomb. Darold came home when the war ended in 1945 and was selected to go to Officer Candidate School, although he declined the offer. 

After the war, Darold was hired by Thermo King to work in a factory on truck refrigeration. Later, he pursued carpentry, another passion of his. Darold landed a job with Kraus-Anderson where he worked for 27 years, working his way up from foreman to superintendent, and then to general superintendent. The job transferred him to Texas where he first met his wife. 

He married for the first time at the age of 50 to Betty, who had eight children. He proudly took the role of dad and grandpa. He wears a T-shirt that reads, “my favorite people call me grandpa.” After 28 years of marriage, Betty passed away. Even though they may not be blood-related, Darold is proud to say he has eight children, 18 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. He lives with his grandson Brian, his wife Bridgette, and their two sons. 

Darold learned about the Senior Center from a friend. He enjoys our lunches, uses the fitness and computer rooms, does Tai Chi, and loves to see the growth of our vegetable garden. When not here at the center, Darold is involved in the World War II Veterans Group, watches sports, and loves hanging out with his family. Darold enters our center each time with a smile and a positive attitude. 

Darold, we are grateful for your service and your contagious smile!