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James Joy Kiser
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Obituary for James Joy Kiser

James Joy Kiser died the morning of July 14, 2018. He was born September 8, 1918,
in Paullina, Iowa, to Joy Alto Kiser and Rachel Katherine Culp Kiser. He grew up on
Walnut Hill Farm and learned to ride and drive horses at an early age. Jim graduated
from Paullina High School in 1936.

Jim enrolled in Iowa State College, played freshman basketball and lettered in polo.
He was a member of the livestock judging team as well as ROTC. He graduated with a
B.S. degree in Animal Science in 1942.

Jim was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1942. He commanded
Battery “A”, 156th Field Artillery Battalion, 44th Infantry Division in WWII. From 1944 to 1945, he saw combat in France, Germany and Austria. Jim was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
He served from 1946 through 1974 in the Army Reserve and retired as a Colonel.

In 1946, Jim went to South Dakota State University where he taught Animal Science classes, coached the livestock judging team and was in charge of the horse program. He met Elizabeth (Bettie) Dawson in 1946 in Chicago and they were married in 1947. Jim received an M.S. degree in Animal Science from SDSU in 1952.

Jim and Bettie moved to Ames in 1951, where he joined the Animal Science Department
at Iowa State College, now Iowa State University. He again was in charge of the horse program, taught classes and coached the livestock judging team. Jim was named faculty advisor for the Block and Bridle Club Horse Show and the ISU Rodeo Club. “Professor Kiser” taught at ISU until his retirement in 1989.

Jim was also the Extension Horse Specialist at ISU and conducted hundreds of clinics
and meetings for 4-H clubs throughout Iowa. He was Superintendent of the Iowa
State Fair 4-H Horse Show for many years.

Jim was accredited to judge more than 17 breeds of horses and ponies and spent many years judging shows throughout the U.S. and Canada. Highlights included the Quarter Horse Congress and World Shows and several National Arabian Shows. He served as an officer of many breed associations, including the Iowa Quarter Horse Association for more than 15 years and was on the board of directors of the American Quarter Horse Association from 1962 to 1986. Jim was inducted into the Halls of Fame of many horse and livestock councils and associations.

Jim and Bettie were a devoted couple for 67 years. They were part of a beloved couples bridge
club, Red Friars dance group, and were active in the Collegiate Methodist Church. They and their daughters, Kathy, born in 1954 and Janice, in 1955, spent many happy times together riding horses and traveling throughout the country on Jim’s judging trips.

Jim’s family includes daughter and son-in-law Kathy and Jay Light, daughter Jan Frank, Jay’s son Richard Light, granddaughter Abby Frank and grandson Evan Frank. He was preceded in death by his wife Bettie, his parents and his brother Donald Jay Kiser.

Funeral arrangements are being made by Adams and Soderstrum Funeral Home, Ames, Iowa.There will be a visitation on Thursday, July 19, at 12:30 pm, followed by a memorial
service at 2:00 pm, both at Collegiate United Methodist Church, 2622 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be directed to: The Kiser 4-H Scholarship at the Iowa 4-H Foundation, Extension 4-H Youth Building, Iowa State University, 1259 Stange Road,
Ames, Iowa 50011.

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Previous Events

Funeral Service




2:00 AM - 2:45 PM
Collegiate United Methodist Church

2622 Lincoln Way
Ames, Iowa 50014





12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Collegiate United Methodist Church

2622 Lincoln Way
Ames, Iowa 50014


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