John S. Keister86, WWII veteran, New Holland executive, Moravian Manor resident

By on July 3, 2012

John Shenk "Jack" Keister, 86, a former vice-president of marketing for Sperry-New Holland Machine Company and longtime Lancaster resident, died of natural causes Saturday, June 30, 2012 at his home at Moravian Manor in Lititz.

Mr. Keister was born March 6, 1926 in Shippensburg to B. Jane (Shenk) and Guy Keister.

He spent his entire career with New Holland Machine Company. He joined the company’s sales force in 1948 and served as a district sales manager and a regional sales manager. He was appointed vice-president of marketing of both the North American and European divisions and spent several years in Belgium.

He graduated from Shippensburg High School and attended Franklin and Marshall College before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He fought in the Pacific Theater during World War II and, after the Japanese surrendered, was assigned to a group of Marines that occupied northern China.

After returning home, he married Martha Heim in 1947. He graduated from Peirce School of Business Administration before joining New Holland.

In 1981, he began a long and enjoyable retirement, spending summers at his beach house in Avalon, N.J. He often bicycled around the island, played a lot of tennis and organized bocce games on the 68th Street beach.

Keister’s memberships included St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Manheim Township and Shriners International.

In addition to his wife of almost 65 years, survivors include two sons: Stephen, husband of Jill Levine, of New York City; and Kim, of Washington, D.C.; and two daughters: Kerry, wife of Steve Kadushin, of Lancaster; and Jill, wife of Gary McBride, of Atlanta; eight grandchildren: Kelly Westcott, Andrew Miller, Matthew Keister, Julia Keister, Kinsey Close, David McBride, David Kadushin and Laura Parsons; and three great-grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his brother: Richard Keister; and a granddaughter: Amanda McBride.

Memorial contributions can be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 50118, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5018; or to Moravian Manor, 300 W. Lemon St., Lititz, PA 17543.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a memorial service in the Klein Chapel in Steinman Hall, Moravian Manor, 300 W. Lemon St., Lititz, on July 5. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family.

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