Nelson Keister, 89

Nelson W. Keister, 89, of Columbia City (Tri-Lakes), died Saturday, May 21, 2011 at the home of his son. He was born Nov. 25, 1921 in Merriam to the late Albert and Gertrude (Addis) Keister.He graduated from Wolf Lake High School with the Class of 1939. He served in the United States Army during World War II where he was stationed in Guam and the Philippines. On May 12, 1943 he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Kring in Albion. For 36 years he was employed by Dana Weatherhead as a machine operator, retiring in 1983. He was affiliated with Big Lake Church of God. While his formative years he lived in Merriam and Noble County, he moved to Whitley County after his marriage and since 1971 has resided at Tri-Lakes.Survivors include his sons, Barry J. (Sandra) Keister and Gary L. (Penny) Keister, both of Columbia City; five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, three step-great-grandchildren and one step-great-great granddaughter; and his beloved Schnauzer, Izzie. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elizabeth Keister Feb. 3, 2006; brothers, Dean and Robert Keister; sisters, Bernice Reed and Ruby Keister; and great-grandson, Ryan J. Barker.Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City. Funeral service will be at 1 p.m., Wednesday at the funeral home with Chaplain Robin La Rue of Heartland Home Health and Hospice officiating. Burial will follow at Sparta Cemetery, Kimmell with graveside military honors conducted by the Whitley County Korean War Veterans. In memory of Mr. Keister, memorials may be made to the Whitley County Humane Society or Heartland Hospice. To sign the guest register or send the family a condolence, visit