SAMUEL RAY KEISLER

Posted on Jan 30, 2019 - 02:03 PM

Nov. 6, 1936-Jan. 23, 2019

Sam Keisler died peacefully the morning of Jan. 23, 2019 at his home surrounded by family and caregivers. He was 82 years old and loved by his wife and children.

Sam grew up in Claremont, North Carolina. Sam earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. Sam traveled through France after college graduation, experiencing adventures he reminisced about for the rest of life. 

While teaching math at UNC, Sam met Anisa Saad, a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan studying microbiology, who would become his wife of 52 years. Together they lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, Houston, Texas, Hampton, Virginia, and finally Gloucester, Virginia.

Sam went on to work for NASA for many years. As a scientific programmer, he worked on the simulator for the Apollo and space shuttle missions. Sam was intellectually inquisitive throughout his life. He designed and built his family home where he lived for 38 years until his death.

Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Fannie Mae Keisler, and his granddaughter, Amira Kuhl.

He is survived by his wife, Anisa; his five children, Shafi Keisler and wife Kelly Dickens, Shahana Garner and husband Kevin Garner, Marc Keisler and partner Desta Biratu, Aysha Keisler and husband David Kuhl, and Sara Keisler; and grand-daughters, Athena Keisler, Natasha Keisler and Elliana Kuhl; siblings, Fred Keisler, Henrietta Keisler, and Janie Moser.

Sam will be remembered for his sharp intellect, prolific stories and jokes, and his many talents: woodworking, word puzzles, gardening, photography, cooking, writing, and more. 

Bennett Funeral Home and the Islamic Center of Virginia provided the funeral service on Jan. 24, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. Sam is buried at Riverview Cemetery in Richmond.