Joseph Tuttle Keiger, 88, of Decorah, died Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, at the Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah. A memorial will be held March 17, 2018, at the National Memorial Gardens and the Fraser Preserve in northern Virginia.

Joe was born Feb. 27, 1929, in Tobaccoville, N.C. After graduating from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., he joined the US Air Force. Following honorable discharge as 2nd Lieutenant in 1956, he spent his career as a computer systems analyst with the Defense Communications Agency in Arlington, Va., retiring in 1984.

In retirement, Joe pursued a wide range of interests. He was an avid gardener, supplying friends, family and neighbors with vegetables, fruits and flowers from his bountiful garden. He volunteered regularly as a tour guide at the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Newseum, and the National Building Museum. He was recognized for stewardship of The Nature Conservancy’s Fraser Preserve in Great Falls, Va., 1981-2006. Joe was also active in civic affairs along with his wife, Bettie, participating in the North Highlands Citizen’s Association, and serving as poll workers for many years.

Joe and Bettie shared a number of interests including classical music and travel. They were active, longtime members of the Northern Virginia Philharmonic Association, formerly the Arlington Symphony Association. Travels included numerous trips around the United States including many to national parks. Some international trips included visits to Turkey, South Africa, many points in Europe and multiple trips to Latin America including Peru, Costa Rica, Argentina and Mexico. He maintained memberships with numerous organizations, including the National Association of Rail Passengers, the Smithsonian Associates and the Appalachian Trail Conference.

In 2011, Joe moved to Decorah to spend his sunset years near his daughter and family, where he continued to enjoy his interests as he was able.

Joseph is survived by his daughter, Martha (James) Griesheimer, Decorah; son, Karl (Michelle Malbrough) Keiger, Covington, La.; five grandchildren: Virginia, John and Lucas Griesheimer; Sebastien Malbrough and Melina Keiger; sisters-in-law: Kathryn (James) Dillon, Winchester, Va.; Clara Jean (David Riddle) Hughes, Clarksville, Md.; Edith Keiger, Tobaccoville, NC. Nieces and nephews: Steve (Peggy) Keiger, Winston-Salem, NC; Patricia Keiger, Tobaccoville, N.C.; Weldon (Cindy) Keiger, Tobaccoville, N.C.; Beth (Steve) Carroll, King, N.C.; Susan Keiger, King, N.C.; Jane Keiger, King, N.C.

Joseph was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth, in 2002; parents, Numa Fletcher and Martha Lenora (Tuttle) Keiger; brothers: Robert (Kate) Keiger, Wendell Keiger, James Wesley (Anna) Keiger, Numa Fletcher (Betty) Keiger; nephew, Barton Keiger; father and mother-in-law, Harry and Gertrude Hughes.