||RONALD AND JACQUIE DUNN
hold photos of their stepson and son, Army Sgt. Timothy
Kiser, who was killed in Iraq last week. Kiser, 37, grew
up in Fremont and graduated from Irvington High School
in 1986. (BEA AHBECK - Staff)
Growing up in Fremont, Tim Kiser did what
most boys his age did.
Each school day, he and his older brother, James, would
make the short journey from their Irvington home to
Chadbourne Elementary. Spring Saturdays meant Little League
games and putting on the red Ra-Mar Roofing Cardinals'
And his mother often would take the boy with curly brown
hair to Central Park, where the two would feed ducks at Lake
Elizabeth and cool off in the swim lagoon.
Those are just some of the memories that come back to
Kiser's mother, Jacquie Dunn, 56, as she gazes at a digital
slide show on her computer in the tidy Milpitas mobile home.
She had been compiling the family's photo history and was
preparing to mail Kiser the segment on his childhood.
Instead, the emotionally moving montage — set to some of
his favorite Christian music — will play during his funeral
service next week.
Army Sgt. Timothy Craig Kiser of Redding, who graduated
from Irvington High School in 1986, was killed Thursday on a
road near Kirkuk, Iraq, after a roadside bomb exploded near
his Humvee, a Pentagon spokesman said. He was 37.
Kiser, who arrived in Iraq shortly after New Year's Day,
had befriended Iraqi children and had hoped to build homes
for the families who had been displaced by war, his mother
"I'm proud of my son and what he did," said Dunn, who
spent 27 years at Lockheed, in a department that built
submarine missiles. "He did die for this country, and I'm
sure in some small way he made a difference."
Army officials are releasing few details about the
incident, but family members say they were told that all
four soldiers in the vehicle were killed.
Kiser's body was flown Sunday to Dover (Delaware) Air
Force Base and will be brought to Travis Air Force Base near
Fairfield by Friday. Services will be held Monday.
Born in Cincinnati on Feb. 5, 1968, Kiser moved with his
mother and his brother to Fremont's Irvington neighborhood —
to a house on Denise Street just off Driscoll Road — when he
was a year old. He never knew his real father, but that void
was filled at the age of 6 when Kiser's mother married
Whether it was swimming in the backyard pool or going
fishing with his grandfather at San Francisco's Lake Merced,
Kiser was drawn to the water from an early age, his mother
Soon after his high school graduation, he enlisted in the
U.S. Army Reserves without his parents' permission, she
said. After serving three years, he worked on and off as a
trucker and dabbled in real estate.
Despite appeals from his family, Kiser re-enlisted in the
Army last year, hoping to land a job as a medic. He had
received orders to attend medical school in Texas in
November, but days before his departure, he was reassigned
for deployment to Iraq.
Kiser was assigned to the Army National Guard's 340th
Forward Support Battalion, 40th Infantry Division, based in
Red Bluff, and entered Iraq on Jan. 2.
As a specialist, he served as an explosives engineer, and
was promoted to sergeant just last week.
His ex-wife said Kiser was intelligent and witty, but
could put people at ease with his sense of humor.
"He was a jokester and a prankster," said Jennifer Krock,
who lives with their two teenage sons in Mount Shasta.
That's something Kiser's two sons, Austin, 14, and
Jordan, 13, will miss. They have been struggling with
their father's death, Krock said — steering through the last
few days of grief on "autopilot."
"It's been hard for the boys," Krock said. "There will be
an emptiness forever now. There will be nothing to replace
Even as missiles whistled overhead in the night, Kiser
found time to call home, and e-mail messages and digital
photos. His last correspondence to Dunn was a simple
Mother's Day card.
"I'm sure this is the 1st mother's day card I have sent
you in years," Kiser wrote in a American Greetings card that
arrived two weeks before the holiday. "It takes going to war
and seeing people hurt or worse to get me to do something I
should have done a long time ago."
Kiser also is survived by his wife, Rhonda Kiser of
Redding; brother, James Kiser of Manteca; stepson, Kyle
Thompson, and stepdaughter, Danyelle Thompson, both of
Redding; and half-sister Shannon Huhn of Milford, Ohio;
and adopted sister, Shawn Dunn of San Jose.