Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 18, 2013

Howard Wayne Kiser

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Howard Wayne Kiser, known to his friends as Wayne, died Aug. 17, 2013, in Traverse City, from Parkinson’s Disease complications.

Mr. Kiser was born May 19, 1939, in Springfield, Ill., to Russell and Dorothy Kiser. He grew up in the Detroit area until he moved to Traverse City with his family.

He was a graduate of Traverse City Central High, Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind., with a B.A. and Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Ill., with an M.A.

At the age of 25 he became the pastor of Zion Bethel Church, an independent church in Monticello, Ind. Two new aspects of the church outreach became a weekly column he wrote for the local paper and weekly club meetings for the church and community youth. The clubs were part of Pioneer Girls and Christian Service Brigade, and as a Brigade leader he took boys to summer camp and wrote stories for the leaders’ magazine. The people at camp knew of his writing and for several years talked to him about joining the Brigade editorial staff in Wheaton, Ill. After five years at Zion Bethel, he and the family did move to Illinois for him to become managing editor of Brigade Leader. He edited that magazine then moved on to two other editorial positions before he and his wife, Ruth Ann, started a family business, Graphic and Editorial Services. For over 35 years they and later their son, Tim, produced printed material, mostly for colleges, missions and churches.

Over the years Mr. Kiser served as a supply or interim pastor for churches that needed temporary help. He was also an adjunct professor at Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College Graduate School.

He was the author of several books, including one published by Broadman Press and one by Scripture Press.

Another interest was amateur radio. He achieved the highest level of proficiency, amateur extra, and that led to one of his favorite activities. He volunteered with DuPage County (Illinois) Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and often coordinated communication between DuPage and surrounding counties during storm emergencies. In addition, he started a chaplaincy program for that OEM. After he and Ruth Ann retired and moved to Traverse City in 2009 he joined the chaplaincy program at the Grand Traverse Metro Department.

He served on several ministry boards, including Christian Service Brigade, where he had been both a member and the chair. As a member of Evangelical Press Association he helped plan two national conventions. He was active in the Wheaton area ham radio club and served two terms as president. As a member of the Studebaker Drivers Club he produced a monthly newsletter.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ruth Ann; their children, Dr. Daniel Wayne Kiser (Ruth), Debra Jean Gunther and Timothy David Kiser (Kim). He is also survived by granddaughters, Elizabeth Ann Kiser and Marlys Ruth Kiser; as well as sisters, Carol Fischer and Mary Bain (Bill).

He was preceded in death by his parents; his younger brother, Russell Lee (Judy); and his brother-in-law, Gordon Fischer.

The funeral will be at his home church, East Bay Calvary, 2225 Hammond Road East, Traverse City, on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 11 a.m. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. at the church.

Memorial contributions may be directed to East Bay Calvary Church.

Please share your thoughts and memories of Wayne with his family by way of his online guestbook at

The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.