Keith Clarence Lininger was born May 30, 1919 to Clarence and Blanche Moreland Lininger on a farm one mile west and a half mile south of Tingley, Iowa and passed away November 18, 2009 at the age of 90 years, five months and 18 days.
Keith attended the Hiawatha and Bridge Academy rural schools and was graduated from the Shannon City high school in 1936. He was an active member of the Tingley Toppers 4-H Club and in 1938 he showed the grand champion baby beef at the Ringgold County Fair.
He farmed with his father until he was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 22, 1942. After receiving amphibious and desert training with the 7th Infantry Division, he participated in the Aleutian campaign in May 1943 helping to secure Attu Island. Following reorganization in the Hawaiian Islands, he went with the unit to the Marshall Islands and assisted in the Kwajalein Island operation in February 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster following these two operations. In September 1944, he received orders to return to the States for officers training at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was commissioned in February 1945.
Keith married Twilla Ruth Hall in Phenix City, Alabama on October 22, 1944. They lived in Belton, Texas where Keith was an instructor at Camp Hood until the end of the war. They returned to Tingley in November 1945 and moved to the farm where they resided until moving to Clearview Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa in September 2009.
A daughter, Quita Rae, was born June 16, 1946 and on July 25, 1951, a son, Curtis Keith, joined the family. Keith and Twilla were later blessed with four grandchildren, Kelle, Kenneth, Brandi and Angie. Keith was happiest when spending time playing with and being entertained by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Keith devoted much interest to soil and water conservation and served as a district commissioner for 35 years. In 1970 he was named outstanding commissioner in the state of Iowa.
Keith was a member of the Ringgold Mutual Insurance Board of Directors for 17 years and served on the Commission of Veteran Affairs for 54 years. He was an early member of the Tingley Lions Club and a member of the American Legion and V.F.W. as well as serving as a 4-H leader, Sunday school teacher and elder of the Tingley United Presbyterian Church.
Keith is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Twilla; daughter, Quita (David) Koehler of Winterset, Iowa, and son, Curtis (Terry) Lininger of Tingley, Iowa; grandchildren Kelle, Brandi and Angie; two stepgrandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; six stepgreat-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Donald and his wife, Dorothy; father and mother-in-law, Leon and Lula Hall; brother-in-law, Marvin Hall; sister-in-law, Vienna Richards, and grandson, Kenneth.
Memorials are to the Tingley community building and to other organizations. Arrangements were handled by Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr.
Services were held at the Presbyterian church, Tingley on Saturday, November 21, 2009, with Rev. Bruce Giese and Rev. Peter Brantner officiating. Musicians were Peggy Skarda and Karen Pettinger.
Honorary pallbearers included Leroy Blessman, Bob Erickson, Roger Morrison, Elbert Skarda, Paul Smith, Lloyd Webb, Bob Shafer and Bill Rusk.
Military rites were conducted by Ringgold Post #172 American Legion and Iowa Army National Guard Honor Squad.
Keith was laid at rest in the Tingley Cemetery, Tingley.