Celebrating the life of Rev. E. Edward Keyser
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July 3, 1938 – April 7, 2022
The Reverend E. Edward Keyser died on April 7 at the age of 83, at his home surrounded by his family. Born on July 3, 1938, he grew up in Lancaster, PA and was the youngest son of Earl E. Keyser Jr. and Thelma Gladys Hoke.
He was a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. He was ordained on June 9, 1963, in a ceremony at the St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA.
He married Margaret Jean Mayhew (who died in 2017) on December 22, 1961. She was the love of his life, and their 56-year marriage was a remarkable partnership and remains an inspiration to their family and friends. He was the center of gravity in his family and was a constant and loving presence in the lives of each of his four children and their spouses, his fifteen grandchildren, and his three great-grandchildren.
Early in his ministry, he served from 1963 to 1967 as Pastor of the Berwick Lutheran Parish, comprised of the congregations of St. John in Berwick, St. Peter in Briar Creek, and St. Paul in Beach Haven, PA. In 1967, he was called by St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA, along with Frederick A. Foltz, to serve as co-equal pastors. Their remarkable team ministry lasted for 35 years, the longest tenure in the over 200-year history of the church. They retired together in 2002. In retirement, Keyser was Visitation Pastor on a part-time basis at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Hanover, PA, until 2019.
Pastor Keyser loved serving the people of St. James, the people that called Gettysburg home, and those that were just traveling through. He lived his life with an amazing amount of patience, compassion, and grace for others. His passion was visiting the sick and the bereaved and being a source of comfort to those who were suffering. He was particularly involved in helping people afflicted with drug and alcohol addiction, seeing that St. James was a host of regular AA meetings, and serving on the York and Adams County Drug and Alcohol Council. He was also deeply involved in youth ministry.
He was an accomplished fisherman, a passion he learned from his father, and something he loved to share with others, especially kids. Fly-fishing was a common interest he shared with Fritz Foltz and led to their team ministry. He was also an avid golfer, played competitive indoor badminton, and was a fixture at boys and girls Gettysburg High School sporting events for over five decades.
In 1996, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Theology by Gettysburg College, along with Pastor Foltz, for his dedication and service to the people of Gettysburg.
He is survived by his brother Jack Keyser of Lancaster; four children: Beth Chandler and husband Ken of Mount Joy, PA, Andrew Keyser and wife Julie of Gettysburg, Will Keyser and wife Eileen of Boston, MA, and Heidi Armonda and husband Rocco of Silver Spring, MD; 15 grandchildren: Joshua Chandler, Keri Crumb, Luke, Evan and Ethan Keyser, Jackson, Vivian, Sam and Lila Keyser, Gabriella, Madison, Emma, Michael, Michelle, and Adrianna Armonda; and 4 great-grandchildren: Landon and Calvin Chandler, and Charlie Crumb.
A funeral service will be held at St James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg at 10am Saturday April 23rd. The family will receive friends from 5pm to 8pm on Friday April 22nd at St James Lutheran Church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. James Lutheran Church, 109 York Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 or to South Central Community Action Programs, 153 North Stratton Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Online obituary and condolences are available at www.monahanfuneralhome.com
109 York St.
109 York St.