Cover photo for Lester Kiel's Obituary
Lester Kiel Profile Photo
1934 Lester 2021

Lester Kiel

March 11, 1934 — January 27, 2021

Lester H. Kiel, 86, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2021 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.  Beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Les was born in Corsica, SD to Henry and Marie (Scholten) Kiel and this is where he spent his childhood years.  At the age of 14 he bought his own butchering business and after graduating from high school in 1952 he sold his business to attend Northwestern Jr. College in Orange City, Iowa.  It was at Northwestern where he met the love of his life, Jean Roskens, or “Jeanie” as he affectionately called her.

After his graduation from Northwestern, Les and Jean were married June 3, 1954. They moved to Lynden, WA for a few months until January of 1955, when Les volunteered for the draft in the US Army.  Upon completion of combat infantry training his unit was sent to Frankfurt, Germany, where he became one of 24 to serve in the General’s Honor Guard.  Jean and their four-month old son, Douglas joined him there in September.  January 1956 they returned to Bellingham, WA where Les attended Western Washington University and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics.

April 20, 1959, Les and Jean were blessed with the birth of their daughter Barbara. Two weeks later, they moved to Seattle where Les began his insurance career with Safeco Insurance Company.  In September of 1959, Safeco transferred Les to Boise, Idaho to become a Field Representative. Within a few months, he was transferred to an office in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he and his family ultimately enjoyed living for 35 years. Les and Jean welcomed their third child, Julie in June of 1961.  At about the same time, Les had an opportunity to leave Safeco to become a partner in Tandy & Wood Inc.  Eventually, he purchased the company from his partners and continued to own and lead the company until he retired in 1999.  He took great pride in his work and the insurance business profession and most of all cared deeply about the people he served.  After his retirement, Les and Jean enjoyed 20+ years in Lake Havasu City, AZ, before moving to San Antonio, TX where they currently reside.

Les worked hard and he also was known to play hard.  Les and Jean made friends wherever they went.  Countless individuals were the recipients of their wonderful and gracious hospitality over the years.  He loved being around family and friends and was generous to a fault. Les was an avid fisherman, hunter boater, golfer and snowmobiler.

His very favorite place to be was always in Island Park, Idaho at THE Cabin which was built in 1973 by his beloved brother, Robert (Bob) Kiel, who was a contractor from Washington State.  Many family members and friends have wonderful memories of time spent with Les and Jean at the cabin to swim, boat, watch the wildlife, enjoy day trips to Yellowstone, and relax.

Les was a devoted Christian and lived his faith daily, serving God’s church and community through volunteer service for many years.  He offered his love and spiritual support to those in need.

Les is survived by his wife, Jean; his son Doug Kiel (Kelly) of Denver CO, and daughters Barbara Kull (Greg) of Bothell, WA; Julie Phaneuf (Mike) of San Antonio, Tx.

Seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Marie Kiel and brother Robert Kiel.

A Memorial Service will be held at the Schertz Funeral Home, 2217 FM 3009, Shertz, TX on February 1, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Don Bailey, Hospice Chaplain officiating.

Memorial donations may be made payable to:

Olympia Hills Golf Course

Attn: Junior Golf Memorial Fund in Memory of Les Kiel

12900 Mount Olympus

Universal City, TX 78148.

To view the livestream service, please click on link below:

Lester Kiel Service

Memorial Service

Schertz Funeral Home
  • 2217 FM 3009
    Schertz, TX 78154
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lester Kiel, please visit our flower store.


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