William “Bill” Kayser, age 92 of Decorah, IA, died on Friday, January 8, 2021 at his home in Decorah with his family at his side.
William was born on June 25, 1928 in Chicago, the son of Joseph and Emma (Steinfest) Kayser. A 1946 graduate of St Mary’s High School in Woodstock, Illinois, Bill then attended Northern Illinois University. In 1969, Camcar asked Bill to move from their Elgin, Illinois office to Decorah, Iowa to set up a satellite factory. He worked there for many years then earned his real estate and commercial real estate appraiser’s licenses. He took pride in the 5,000+ properties that he appraised in Northeast Iowa while he worked with Decorah State Bank, The A&J Agency then A&J Petersburg Agency, retiring in May of 2015.
Having great pride in his ‘ranch’ North of Decorah, Bill loved to raise and ride his horses there – K.C., Windsom, Baladore, and his most-beloved Paloma. If he wasn't clearing the pond, tending the garden, or mending trails, he was riding at the local state parks or making annual week vacations riding out of state.
Because of his great many adventures, he was a storyteller – from scuba-diving all over the world, to his hunts near Fort Peck, Montana, to the crossbow he and some buddies made from a car’s leaf springs, to his only golf tournament win at Silvercrest’s first annual Schlitz Beer tournament. He very much enjoyed reading and took an interest in Native American history, and also had a sweet spot for Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. He visited Harry Potter World in Orlando, FL in 2012 with his 'granddaughter' and rode every single ride, making him the most experienced kid at that time! He frequently stated, "Once you start acting old, then you get old!" Farewell and endless blessings to the best neighbor for sharing plentiful harvest, lawncare, and patio visits of laughter. He was a man of incredible talents, interests, and adventures, which connected him with many friends who evolved to be family.
Bill had a great respect for his country, world history and firearms. Membership in organizations was important to Bill, including the National Rifle Association, the Elks Club, Knights of Columbus, scuba-diving clubs and professional organizations for his appraisal business.
He is survived by one brother: Joseph, Jr., (Jan) of Harvard, Illinois and his sister, Trudi (Chuck) Saxer, of Jacksonville, Illinois as well as many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews and his lifelong pal of 30+ years, his horse K.C.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents: Joseph and Emma (Steinfest) Kayser. Sisters: Dorothy (Robert) Church and Bernice (Tom) Fite. His wife: Irene and his only child, Kathy Leetzhow.
Services will be private.
The family asks that instead of flowers, memorials be sent to Thunder Rode Therapeutic Riding, 1957 Meadowlark Road, Decorah, IA 52101.
Condolences can be sent to the family at 1911 – 131st Avenue, Postville, IA 52162.
Family and friends can sign the guestbook at www.saundersmcfarlin.net.
Call Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home for more info at 815-943-5400.
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