Terry LeRoy Altheide, 73, of Keokuk, Iowa, passed away on Monday, September 28, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born in Keokuk on January 11, 1947, the son of Roy Willet and Alice Hayden Altheide. His father passed away in June of 1954. Terry and his sister, Catherine, were then raised by Kenneth E. Howard, whom their mother married in 1957. They always referred to Kenneth as Dad.
On July 12, 1987, Terry married Linda Alvis Stice at the Faith Bible Church in Ft. Madison, Iowa. She survives.
Additional survivors include one brother, Buddy (Doris) Howard of Keokuk; and stepchildren Matthew (Dolly) Stice of Keokuk; Carla (Tyson) Waetzig of Keokuk; Chad (Niki) Stice of Quincy, Illinois; Randy Stice of Keokuk; and Belinda Stice of Keokuk. Also surviving are numerous step-grandchildren and several step-great-grandchildren. Another grandchild who he and Linda had the privilege and honor of raising is Anthony Stice of Keokuk. Numerous aunts and uncles as well as cousins also survive. Mr. Altheide also cherished his pets, his dogs Sabrina, Susie and Satin and his cats Ms. Kitty, Dakota, Patches, Ellie, Fluffy, Zeus, Teddy and Sassy.
From age 10 until he turned 40, Mr. Altheide played baseball as well as fast and slow pitch softball. He also coached women’s softball and one year on a little league team. He was a St. Louis Cardinals fan and always regretted not going to a Cardinal tryout that John Marion had arranged for him. He also enjoyed NASCAR and loved playing Scrabble, playing hundreds of games through the years with another Scrabble enthusiast, Kathy McMurrin of Cedar Rapids, a former daughter-in-law.
Mr. Altheide graduated from Cardinal Stritch High School in 1965 and served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968. He retired from the City of Keokuk in 2012 after nearly 20 years of service in the sanitation department. He worked at the Keokuk Veterinary Hospital until his illness. He loved walking and caring for the many dogs that he came into contact with as well as the many cats that came to the hospital.
Mr. Altheide was a history buff and wrote scores of columns for the Gate City over the years and enjoyed writing letters to the editor to the Gate City, Burlington Hawkeye and the Des Moines Register. He and his wife Linda contributed scores of binders to the Keokuk Library filled with local history, with a majority of them filled with thousands of local veteran obituaries.
He was a member of American Legion Post 41 where he served as chaplain, historian, adjutant and commander of the Legion’s Honor Guard at veteran funerals. He also was a member of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 41, a founding member of The Lee County Pioneer Cemetery Association where he served as president for 8 years, and a member of the Lee County Veterans Project that he and his wife founded. At one time or another he was a member of the State Association for The Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries, the Lee County Genealogical Society, The Lee County Historical Society, the Iowa Postal History Society, the National Scrabble Society and also served on Keokuk’s Veterans Memorial Board. He was a recipient of the Spirit of Keokuk Award in 2012.
Terry and his wife sponsored several cemetery tours through the years and were responsible for conducting their annual salute to the Oakland Cemetery Civil War veterans. They also organized the annual Pioneer Patriots Day ceremony that the Pioneer Cemetery Association held throughout Lee County. Other ceremonies honoring POW’s/MIA’s, pioneer families and military chaplains were also sponsored by the Altheide’s. Terry was also proud of obtaining a Medal of Honor tombstone for Lewis Phife who is buried in the Tierney Cemetery near Wever; obtaining the Medal of Honor & Purple Heart of John Thorson who is buried in Keokuk’s National Cemetery and then donating them to American Legion Post 41 for display; helping to obtain funds with Gerri Lawson to restore the tombstone of Keokuk abolitionist Charlotta Pyles and then helping to obtain a Main Street planter for Pyles and having the privilege of writing the epitaph on her planter.
He was a member of Keokuk’s Calvary Baptist Church where he served as a bus captain and children’s church director. He was especially proud of bringing over 2,500 people, mostly children, to church on buses nearly 35,000 times throughout the years to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Churches he served as a bus captain included Bel Air Baptist & Calvary Baptist in Keokuk, Faith Bible in Ft. Madison and Hillside Baptist in Wellington, Kansas where he lived for three years, from 1992 to 1995. Terry accepted the Lord as his savior in 1981 at the Bel Air Baptist Church.
Terry was preceded in death by his mother and both of his fathers, one sister Catherine, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation with family meeting friends will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home, Keokuk, Iowa.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, October 1, 2020, at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home with Pastor John Heath officiating. A private burial will be held in the Keokuk National Cemetery with full military rites by American Legion Post 41.
For the safety of those attending, masks are strongly encouraged, and social distancing practices will be in place.
For those unable to attend, the funeral service will be livestreamed via the DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home Facebook live.
Memorials may be directed to the Calvary Baptist Church Bus Ministry or to the American Legion.
Tributes and condolences may be left at www.dejongsfuneralhome.com.
DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home in Keokuk is in charge of arrangements.
Published on September 30, 2020