James “Jim” Louis DeKeyser- Manchester

James “Jim” Louis DeKeyser, 87, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Monday, December 19, 2022, at the Good Neighbor
Society in Manchester. He was born on May 12, 1935, in Greeley, the son of Julius “Jim” and Betty (Gage) DeKeyser. Jim was
raised on the family farm and graduated from Manchester High School in 1953. After graduating from high school, Jim enlisted in the United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Navy Seabees.

While stationed in Japan, his commanding officer’s family introduced him to Kino Kumagai. Jim and Kino were married on June 25, 1957, in Japan, and had two daughters.

Jim’s Navy service took him all across the United States and abroad, as well as multiple tours of duty in Vietnam. He also
completed a full-year South Pole deployment. After serving twenty years in the Navy and reaching the rank of Master Chief,

Jim retired to take over his parent’s small dairy farm outside of Edgewood. This chapter of his life lasted five years, after which Jim was recruited to join the American Foreign Service.

For fifteen years, Jim served as General Services Officer to US Embassies in Africa, Singapore, China and the USSR. Jim and Kino enjoyed exploring the interesting places his work took them, traveling for pleasure and making lifelong friends.

Jim retired from the Foreign Service to live in Manchester in 1990. Although his work took him all over the world, he felt the
most at home living in Iowa. Every morning for years, no matter the weather, he would take a long walk, stopping at the
Pronto market for the newspaper and often at Bushel And A Peck for a delicious cinnamon roll. Jim and Kino’s home is filled
with mementos from distant places and Jim’s beautiful paintings. They loved spending time with their grandchildren and
hosting family get-togethers. Jim became an active member in the Manchester United Methodist Church and spent many hours volunteering at Second Helpings. He also served on the board of the Manchester Public Library.

Jim was a wonderful man possessed of many natural abilities, a strong work ethic, and loyalty to his friends and family. He
always had an interest in art and taught himself photography and oil painting starting in his twenties. Jim became an
accomplished painter, practicing his art until recent years. He also loved reading and enjoyed tennis, playing cards, and was an excellent bowler. Jim took his family on many road trips in Europe while stationed in Germany, including hiking in the Black
Forest and the Swiss Alps. After retirement, Jim and Kino enjoyed road trips with friends all across North America.

Jim’s sweet demeanor stayed with him despite the changes brought on by Alzheimer’s Disease. Even when he could no longer communicate as before, he loved watching America’s Funniest Home Videos at the nurse’s station at the Good Neighbor
Society. His laughter and smiles for others strengthened his connections until the end.

The family is grateful for the loving and dedicated care that Jim received for the last two and half years of his life at the Good
Neighbor Society. We feel so lucky to have had those angels watching over him when we could no longer care for him at home.

Jim is survived by Kino, his wife of 65 years; children, Kathryn (Christopher Bailey) DeKeyser and Kendra DeKeyser; three
grandchildren, Isabel Martin, Sylvia Brueckert and her husband, Ryan, and Emma DeKeyser; brother, Bill DeKeyser and his
wife Peg; nephew, Ken DeKeyser and his wife, Alison and their children, Zachary and Dominic; nephew, Mike Moleski and his
wife, Glenda and their children Ryan and Mark; nephew, Steven Bruns, and his children, Alex and Andrew; and niece, Ann
Bruns Rotunno and her husband Don.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, JoAnn DeKeyser Bruns; and his nephew, Ted Kane.

Online condolences may be sent to

Graveside Service with Military Honors: May 13, 2023 at 2:00 Oakland Cemetery in Manchester, Iowa.


Back to top button