Joseph Murry Kiefer
Colonel, "Mr. Joe"
Joseph Murry Kiefer died December 11, 2012 at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. Joseph was born in Camden, N.J., but as an infant, moved with his parents and two sisters to Philadelphia, PA. He was born September 29, 1915, the youngest child of Joseph John Kiefer and Ruth Esther Kiefer. He was a graduate of The Virginia Polytechnic Institute, class of 1939 with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, and following WWII
, a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee. He had been employed as a research engineer at Rayonier, Inc., then General Motors
Corp. and finally Monsanto Chemical Corp. in Pensacola, FL. He entered WWII as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Corp of Engineers serving in Africa, Corsica and France. Following the War, he returned to his profession as a Chemical Engineer, but remained in the Army Reserve for a total of 30 years' service attaining the rank of Colonel. He was a WWII honoree receiving the European-African-Middle Eastern ribbon with three battle stars, the Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the American Defense Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal. Colonel Kiefer, before retiring from the Reserve served for four years as Commanding Officer of the 361st Civil Affairs brigade and Brigade Headquarters in Pensacola. As an employee of Monsanto, he held positions as senior engineer and Manager of the Patent Liaison Department. He was an active member of the Warrington United Methodist Church, and had served as Administrative Board Chairman, Lay Leader, Chairman of Evangelism Committee, and Sunday School teacher. After retirement, he served as a volunteer Math Tutor in the Basic Adult Education Dept. of the Pensacola Junior College, tutoring students in the G.E.D. program. He often would remark that "this volunteer occupation was the most rewarding job experience of his life. Helping young men and young women achieve a diploma and go further on with their education." Joseph was preceded in death by his dear wife, Cora, his parents, his two sisters, Miriam Lawson, Mildred Weand, his three sisters-in-law, Wilma Goodwin, Arlene Monroe, and Peggy Young. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Lynda Arlene Kiefer, PhD. and numerous loving nephews and nieces. The family requests that, in lieu in flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Warrington United Methodist Church,
Memphis, TN., The Salvation Army, or your favorite cause. Oak Lawn Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to oaklawnfunerals.com
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