Roman Francis Rev. (1932 - 2008)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Kaiser, Strohman, Townsend, Lindner, Herkert, Halder, Listecki, Tracey, Paul, Kennedy
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) September 24, 2008
Kaiser, Rev. Roman Francis (2 April 1932 - 14 September 2008) With Flag
Rev. Roman F. Kaiser, Col. USAF (Retired) and a priest for 50 years, died at age 76 Sunday, September 14, 2008, in the Palliative Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield.
Roman Francis Kaiser was born April 2, 1932, in Stratford to Frank and Anna (Strohman) Kaiser. He attended St. Joseph Grade School, Stratford, and then entered the Salvatorian Seminary in St. Nazianz in 1946. In 1952 he entered St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, MN, where he obtained his bachelor and master degrees. He was ordained a priest by the Most Reverend John P. Tracy May 24, 1958, at Christ the King Chapel, Holy Cross Seminary La Crosse. He celebrated his First Mass at St. Joseph, Stratford his home parish May 25, 1958.
Father Kaiser’s first assignment was full-time instructor and athletic director for five years at Regis High School, Eau Claire, and assistant pastor at St. Patrick and Sacred Heart parishes. In June of 1963 he was granted permission to seek a chaplaincy in the Armed Forces. In August 1963, Father Kaiser received a commission as a Catholic Chaplain to the United States Air Force from President John F. Kennedy. He received his basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. His first assignment was to Hamilton AFB, CA, and eventually he was sent to Kadena AFB Okinawa, Japan. After the Vietnam War, he was commissioned to the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and later to an air force base in Greece. Upon his return to the states, he served at Adair AFB Oregon, followed by Williams AFB Chandler, AZ.
In 1979, Father Kaiser earned the recognition of full colonel in the U. S. Air Force and was reassigned a second term at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. His next assignment was Elmendorf AFB Anchorage, AK, where he served as command chaplain for the Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard in that state. He then served as command chaplain at air force bases in Wiesbaden and Ramstein, Germany. His next assignment was Marsh AFB, CA, and later transferred to Norton AFB, CA, where he served for three and one-half years as chaplain inspector and team chief of the U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy, which took him to 72 bases around the world. Col. Father Kaiser retired from the military in 1990. In his travels throughout the world he served thousands of people of all faiths.
He accepted the call from the Most Reverend Bishop John Paul of the La Crosse Diocese in April of 1990 and was appointed pastor of St. Anthony’s Parish, Loyal, where he served 18 years until the time of his death. Father gave wholeheartedly to all he served and treated everyone with compassionate love and saw the good in everyone. To quote Father, "My job basically is to help people understand the beauty of who they are and to help them come alive." His favorite saying was "Isn’t God good!"
Father Kaiser is survived by four sisters, Cecilia Townsend, Riverview, MI, Helen (Frank) Lindner, Loyal, Sister Catherine Kaiser FSPA, Port Edwards, and Dora Ann (Lawrence) Herkert, Marshfield; two brothers, James (Betty Lou) Kaiser, Marshfield, and Thomas (Sandra) Kaiser, New Berlin; sister-in-law, Janet Kaiser Halder; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and cousins.
Preceding him in death were his parents; two brothers, Eugene and Hilary Kaiser; brother-in-law, John Townsend; and niece-in-law, Lynn Herkert.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Loyal, Friday, September 19, at 11 a.m. with The Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki presiding. Burial followed in the parish cemetery with military rites conducted by a U. S. Air Force Honor Guard. Nephews served as pallbearers.
Father Kaiser’s family asked that memorials be given to St. Anthony Parish, Loyal.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.cuddiefh.com.
Cuddie Funeral Home, Loyal assisted Father Kaiser’s family and the Diocese of La Crosse with arrangements.
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