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Keith Willson

Published: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 10:51 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 11:27 a.m. CST

Keith Willson, 89, died Aug. 8, 2014, at his daughter’s home in Newton. Keith was born in Keystone, Dec. 27, 1924, to Wilmer and Vivian (Vertrees) Willson. Keith graduated from Prairie City High School in 1942, and attended Iowa State University. Keith served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-1946 as an aviation radioman. He married Denise McFadden on July 24, 1948, and they were married for nearly 66 years. His career included serving as the office manager of the nation’s first artificial insemination company for cattle, Dairy Genetics/Iowa Breeders Coop for 20 years. He was a computer programmer at IMT Insurance for another 20 years until his retirement in 1987. He was an active member of Epworth United Methodist Church, enjoyed following the Los Angeles Dodgers, Iowa and Iowa State sports, his grandchildren’s activities, the Iowa State Fair, and visiting family and friends with his wife, Denise. After retirement, he volunteered for food banks, meals for the homeless, Personal Energy Transportation, and helped friends and acquaintances too numerous to count.

Those left to honor his memory include his daughter Barbara (Mike) Kaldenberg of Newton and son Bill (Diana) Willson of Durango, Colo. He also has two grandchildren, Scott (Cody) Kaldenberg and Christine (Nick) Sobocinski, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Keith’s parents preceded him in death, along with his sisters, Bethine (Warren) Cowman and Wilma Jean (Francis) Randall. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Epworth United Methodist Church or PET.

A service will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at Epworth United Methodist Church, 412 Euclid Ave. in Des Moines. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Highland Park Funeral Home, 3500 Sixth Ave. in Des Moines. Online condolences may be made at 

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