Mobridge Tribune

Lee Keszler had open door and the coffee on

On Monday, March 7, 2022, Leland “Lee” Keszler, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away at the age of 84 at Avera Eureka Health Care Center.
Funeral services for Lee, a longtime resident of both Eureka and Mobridge, will be held at 10:30 a.m., CDT, on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Family Worship Center in Mobridge with Pastor Paul Hathaway leading services.
Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery, following the service, under the direction of Oster Funeral Home of Mobridge.
Lee was born Aug. 2, 1938, to Lorenz and Emma (Fischer) Keszler of Campbell County. He was raised on a farm 16 miles southwest of Eureka until moving to town in 1951, where he graduated from Eureka High School in 1956.
On June 9, 1957, Lee married his high school sweetheart, Pearl (Weller) Keszler, and the couple moved to San Diego, California, after Lee enlisted into the U.S. Navy as a radioman. After his ship saw action during the Cold War hostilities in the South China Sea, he and Pearl returned home to Eureka in 1959, where Lee worked for the Eureka Equity then Rath Electric. Lee was also an active member of the community as a volunteer fireman, member of the VFW, and guitarist in the local polka band, The Rhythm Kings. In his spare time, Lee enjoyed hunting, fishing and snowmobiling with friends.
In 1976, now with two sons, Lee and Pearl moved to Mobridge with Rath Electric, where he raised his boys and eventually started his own business, Lee’s Service. Lee was a member of Mobridge HAM Radio Club, and assistant Cub and Boy Scoutmaster, and an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He greatly enjoyed taking his family camping and teaching the boys outdoor skills in the Black Hills, his favorite place on earth. Sadly, Pearl passed in February 1996.
While recovering from his loss and “not looking for a girl,” Lee met Phyllis (Littman) Keszler when she sold his business advertisement in the Mobridge Tribune. They both became involved in Koinonia through Trinity Lutheran Church and soon became inseparable. They were married on Nov. 30, 1996. Lee and Phyllis were passionately involved with the Lewis and Clark historical society and spent much of their time handmaking their own outfits and gear and traveling throughout the Midwest to Rendezvous historical re-enactment events. Lee could shoot the wings off a fly with his black powder rifles and split a hair with a tomahawk at 20 yards. Both loved the outdoors and their garden was always impressive. The couple were also members of Family Worship Center in Mobridge and enjoyed their time there very much. Phyllis sadly passed in March 2020 in Eureka where the couple had moved in 2019, and where Lee resided until his passing.
Lee was a positive role model and mentor, enriching the lives of all those around him. He volunteered many hours of his time helping others and always had an open door and a pot of coffee on for those who would often stop by his home for a visit. He was thankful, grateful, encouraging, positive, wise, strong, humble, dutiful, honest, loyal, devoted and supportive. Lee was known for his big smile and deep, jolly laugh that he did not mind sharing with the whole room.
Lee is survived by his sons, Steven (Wendy) Keszler of Geneva, Minnesota, and Scott (Huyen) Keszler of Lakewood, California; stepdaughter, Wendy (Stephen) Jeffus of Broken Bow, Oklahoma; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; sister, Bernice (Maynard Downen) Goehring of Rapid City; stepbrother, Rodney (Janice) Thurn of Aberdeen; sisters-in-law, Marlene Keszler of Grass Valley, Michigan, and Virginia Sandmeier of Mobridge; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to both wives, Lee was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Alma (Thurn) Keszler; brothers, Jerry and Richard Keszler, as well as one brother in infancy; stepbrother, John Thurn; and stepdaughter, Brenda Lee Littman.

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