Rena Belle Kieser, 98, of Williamsport, was called to her eternal heavenly home, on Thursday, August 9, 2018, at Valley View Rehab and Nursing Center, where she had resided for the last four years.
Born July 2, 1920, in Somerset County, she was a daughter of the late Stewart E. and Leatha (Helsel) Berkebile and fondly spoke about her childhood years growing up in Blough, a coal mining town. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her sister, Louella Maczko; and brother-in-law, Joe.
Rena was a 1939 graduate of Hooversville High School. She was first employed in the shoe department at Sears and Roebuck but making a home filled with faith, love and a family was the job she cherished. Rena began to frequent the Steam Valley area while visiting family and that is where she met the love of her life, William H. Kieser Jr., who stuck her with a fly hook on their first date, and then proceeded to share 25 years of marriage before his unexpected passing on Aug. 4, 1968.
Rena was a member of the former Newberry UMC since 1956 where she took on many roles, including Sunday school teacher and women’s leader. Rena could grow the most beautiful flower beds and had a knack for rose bushes. Often times you could find her performing her famous Hat Show, which included antique hats that dated back to the turn of the century. For many years she volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader, heading up local cookie drives, and also taught ceramics in her home shop. Rena loved to travel and had the great joy of witnessing the Oberammergau Passion Play with her daughter in 1990. She was fond of her family cabin on Little Pine Creek spending Sundays in the summer at Carsontown Church, a place very special in her heart.
Without a doubt Rena was the matriarch of her family, delighting in the lives of her family. She passed along many life lessons with the most notable being to love God, serve others, love unconditionally and to enjoy a cup of good, strong coffee.
From her marriage with Bill came her two greatest blessings in life, who survive her, a son, William S. Kieser, and his wife, Virginia, of Steam Valley; and a daughter, Leatha Anne Kieser, of Montoursville.
Her love for family grew abundantly with the addition of her four grandchildren who also survive her, Ann Kieser and Buck Edler, of Mansfield, William H. and Sarah Kieser, of Williamsport, Robert S. and Tara Kieser, of Steam Valley, and Katharine R. Kieser, of Williamsport. Her role as Gram to Ann, Bill, Rob and Katie led to many special times shared in her home on Diamond Street, no matter how strict the rules were or how much sugar she would allow on cereal. She cheered her grandkids on in all types of events and the door to her home was always open to her children, grandchildren, and Fresh Air kids, no matter the time of day.
Also surviving are seven great-grandchildren who always put a smile on her face, MacKenzie, William-Pence, Ciara, Jonathan, Isabelle "Pippy", Mason and Kyler.
A funeral service to honor the life of Rena will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 15 at Sanders Mortuary, 821 Diamond St., Williamsport, directly next door to the place she called home for 62 years. Burial will follow in Steam Valley Cemetery, Trout Run. A viewing will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m.on Tuesday at Sanders.
The family will provide flowers and suggest memorial contributions be made in Rena’s name to Carsontown Church, c/o Victoria Kitt, Treas., 1833 First Fork Road, Jersey Shore, PA 17740 or Steam Valley Cemetery Association c/o Karen Cook, Sec. 1998 Steam Valley Road, Trout Run, PA 17771.