Kiser, John

KISER, Sr., John

John F. Kiser Sr., a fifth generation Atlantan with deep roots in New England, died July 15, at the age of 93. He was the husband of the late Miriam Wright Kiser, with whom he lived a life rich in love and children. John spent most of his career in medical association administrative positions. The past few decades he had the joy of living in the Tate Mountain community with Miriam and finally returning to Atlanta, residing at Canterbury Court. He was a thoughtful man, a steady husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passionate naturalist, and an omnivorous reader and editor.

He studied Faulkner, Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, and the list goes on. Always curious, he was a spotter of warblers and wildflowers from North Georgia to New Hampshire. For many years John kept spread-open desk calendars where records of notable weather, wildlife sightings, and plant life happenings were minimally and like second nature, recorded. He regularly sent articles to friends and family, inspiring and teaching those around him with his calm, insatiable bent to live and learn. He connected in a direct, present way with strangers and wrote down or always remembered their names.

Born in NYC, John grew up in Atlanta beginning at the age of six months, son of Drs. Ellen Finley Kiser and William (Bill) Howell Kiser Jr. He attended "Little Lovett" and O'Keefe Jr. High in Atlanta and Philips Exeter (NH) and Harvard College ('50). He completed an MA degree from GSU in his 60's.

Cherishing education, he was a generous supporter of his children's education, financially and as an inspirer. Loving literature and poetry, a fulfillment of his was raising up a reader. He was a lively art appreciator.

Briefly, a reporter for The Atlanta Constitution while serving in the Army Reserve, John went on to the Medical Assoc. of GA, the AMA, and then for 20 years as the Executive Director of the Medical Association of Atlanta. John and Miriam moved from Atlanta to Tate Mountain in 1986, where John worked annotating part of Thoreau's Journal, was instrumental in the founding of Holy Family Episcopal Church, The Mountain Conservation Trust, and the Friends of Pickens Library. John was a former member of The Cathedral of St. Philip, and a member of Holy Family Episcopal Church, the Piedmont Driving Club, Inquiry Club, Audubon Society, and Tate Mountain Corporation.

Survivors include children Mimi Kiser, W. Howell (Betsy) Kiser, Peggy Davis, Libba (Bill) Shortridge, Martha (Michael) Ruiz, John (Stephanie) Kiser Jr.; 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law and sisters-in-law James (Emily) Wright and Mary Semmes Wright; 24 nieces and nephews; and cousin Edyth Kiser Shadburn. His sisters are the late Lucy (Bill) Emerson, twin Martha (John) Wayt, and Margaret (Bill) Wetmore.

The family would like to thank the staff and residents of Canterbury Court and Personal Care, Inc. for their support during the fullness of John's last chapter of life. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mountain Conservation Trust (104 North Main Street, Jasper, GA, 30143), Holy Family Episcopal Church (202 Griffith Rd., Jasper, GA, 30143), Tamworth History Center, (25 Great Hill Road, PO Box 13, Tamworth, NH, 03886), Canterbury Staff Scholarship Fund (Resident Council of Canterbury, 3750 Peachtree Rd., NE, Atlanta, GA, 30319.)

A service will be held in mid-September.

Funeral Home Information

H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel

4550 Peachtree Road Ne

Atlanta, GA


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