On January 3, 2023, we said goodbye to Robert “Bob” J. Kaiser of Chili, NY. Bob was a retired pastor who remained active in the community up until his passing.
Bob was born in Orange, New Jersey, to John and Dallace Kaiser. In 1956, he graduated from Gettysburg College. A year later, on June 29, he married the love of his life, Marilyn Ballard. They were married for 63 years until her passing on December 27, 2020.
Later, Bob pursued his interest in ministry by attending Union Theological Seminary. He served at Freeville Methodist, Spencertown Presbyterian, Little Falls Presbyterian, and Gates Presbyterian until his retirement in 1998. He continued to serve as an interim and supply pastor for various local churches throughout his retired years. Bob loved and valued the community he experienced at every parish he served and was grateful for the opportunity to serve different populations.
Beyond his work as a pastor, Bob was a strong community advocate. From attending Dr. King’s March on Washington to his advocacy for migrant laborers, Bob firmly believed in peace, justice, and a more equitable world for all. He lived out these beliefs through action and leadership, inviting others to join him on work projects in Latin America and encouraging the youth in the churches to participate in work projects in communities in need.
Bob loved sports—especially basketball, baseball, and golf—and he dutifully attended his grandchildren’s sporting events (even those who were self-professed Red Sox fans). In his retirement years, one of his greatest joys was golfing with friends or family and then sharing a meal afterward.
There were few things Bob loved more than having his family all in one place. From reunions at the Jersey Shore to cozy Christmas celebrations at his and Marilyn’s house in Chili, family was Bob’s favorite source of community. He was the social glue of the family, and he loved to sit back and watch his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play, sourdough pretzel in hand and Diet Pepsi beside him. Many of his grandchildren learned how to play poker under his tutelage, and he loved sharing travel stories with those around him.
Bob leaves behind his four children David, Loreen, Bryce, and Lon; their spouses; his sister Dalyce; his dear friend Lucia with whom he spent many of his favorite times throughout the past year and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As a holiday tradition, Bob and Marilyn always made donations in the name of their grandchildren. To honor Bob’s memory, donations can be made to Heifer International (Heifer.org) or St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality (SaintJoesHouse.org) in Rochester, NY. Bob was a compassionate, charismatic, and caring man, and the world was made better by his presence. He will be deeply missed.
Friends and family are invited to a Memorial Service which will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023 beginning at 2 PM at Batavia First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St. Batavia, NY 14020
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