Charles (Chuck) David Kiser Jr. (76) passed away in his home on Sunday, November 12, 2023.
Chuck was born on July 8, 1947, to Juanita J. Johnson and Charles David Kiser. He was born in Akron and raised in Barberton, Ohio, and is the second oldest of four siblings. He was famous in his hometown at a young age for making it in the newspaper for running away from the hospital when he was scheduled to get his tonsils out.
After high school, he worked different jobs, his favorite being at a horse stable. Just when he had finally saved enough money to buy his horse, he was drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in the Vietnam War. He didn’t talk much of his time in Vietnam. He avoided his young children’s questions about the shrapnel scars on the back of his neck. He was proud to serve his Country and that was all anyone needed to know.
One story he was proud to tell was how he met the love of his life, his ‘Darling,’ Carmen, while visiting the Philippines on R&R from serving in Vietnam. It was love at first sight for Chuck when he saw her waving at him from a coffee shop window, which, she claims, was merely cleaning the window because she worked there. Nonetheless, the coffee shop was his new favorite hangout, eventually leading to a chaperoned date, letters from Vietnam, eating duck eggs to get in good with the uncles, and a proposal. Chuck and Carmen were married on July 19, 1970, in Manilla, Philippines. And for the next fifty years, Chuck was “complete” with Carmen by his side. Eventually, their love grew, and the family of two became a family of five: Charles (III), Christopher, and Carmelinda.
He continued his military career and rose through the enlisted ranks from Private to First Sergeant before becoming a Chief Warrant Officer. The U.S. Army provided him and his family many opportunities to travel to different duty stations until he retired after 22 years of service in Fort Riley, Kansas. The Kiser’s planted roots down in Junction City. They found their extended family in their church and the Filipino/American community.
After retiring from the Army, Chuck finished his Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Friend’s University. He began working in the civil service on different military bases. After a few years in the Pentagon and Fort McNair, VA, working as a Logistics Manager, he moved back to Fort Riley to finish out his career in Human resources, finally retiring in 2015.
Chuck’s life was filled with service. Service to his Country, to his wife, his children, to his church, his Filipino family, and his friends. From serving with the Knights of Columbus, Lions, and Troubadours to handing out half-pieces of gum to all the children in the communion line. Everywhere he went, if someone needed help, he would ensure it got done. He was never afraid to take charge and lead if needed. He was a strong leader with a soft heart. His personality was as strong as his big bear hugs. He cried at every Hallmark or Horse movie. He never met a stranger. He would give the coat off his back, even if you just mentioned you liked it. He was the best at making people feel welcomed and valued. He always had time to offer sound advice and wise counsel to anyone who needed it.
Some of his favorite pastimes were sitting in his recliner with his dog on his lap and watching the Kansas City Chiefs play football. They did not have a bigger fan than Chuck. He was their tried and true even before Patrick Mahomes was born. Carmen was always concerned about his blood pressure as he yelled at the T.V. He also enjoyed sitting in his truck reading books on his Kindle as he waited for his darling Carmen in the Walmart Garden Department or to finish talking to her friends. He didn’t care as long as he was with her. He attended so many Filipino gatherings he could speak and understand Tagalog (mostly). He also loved buying his grandkids fun things at a convenience store or Amazon or treating them to ice cream cones. Spoiling his grandkids was a great privilege, and he took full advantage of it.
Chuck loved others well because he was loved so deeply by his Savior. He always started his mornings and ended his evenings praying and listening to the Rosary. Throughout the day, he would read his Bible, listen to different messages and devotionals, and watch his favorite channel, EWTN, for the masses. He knew that God had to come first, and he made a practice to do so. Especially after his wife passed away, he knew that when it seems like you have nothing else, you always have Jesus. He often shared his faith at their weekly Rosary prayer gatherings, encouraging people to stay faithful to walk with Christ and trust Him in all things.
Three grateful children and their spouses survive Chuck: Chuckie and Jessica of Orlando, Florida, and Chris and Imee of Junction City, Carmelinda and Will (Cornell) of Rock Springs, Wyoming; his five grandchildren who brought him so much joy; Chuckie (IV) and Isabel Kiser, Chris (Jr) Kiser, Olyvia, and Judson Cornell; a newly born great-grandchild, Myla Carmencita; his brother, Bill (and his wife, Linda) of Lodi, Ohio; his nieces and nephews, and by many dear friends he considered being family.
Chuck proceeded in death, his beautiful ‘Darling,’ his parents, and his brother, Jim, and sister, Charlotte.
A mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, November 17, 2023, at St. Xavier Catholic Church with Fr. Kerry Ninemire officiating. The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, November 16, 2023, at Johnson Funeral Home with a novena following the visitation at 7 p.m. Burial will follow the service at St. Mary’s Cemetery with full military honors.
Chuck knew the love he shared with others was mutual. He was so grateful, and so is his family.
Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to the Knights of Columbus and/or the Disabled Veterans of America.