Funeral Mass held for diocesan Deacon Thomas Kiefer

Deacon Thomas J. Kiefer of Dayton died Nov. 23 at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga after complications from multiple ailments. He was 85.

A funeral Mass for Deacon Kiefer was celebrated on Nov. 29 at St. Bridget Church, where he had served for years. Father Jim Vick, pastor of St. Bridget Parish, was the Mass celebrant. Interment was in Spring City at Spring City Memorial Gardens.

Deacon Kiefer, who was born in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 7, 1937, had an early career in manufacturing with Oster/Sunbeam that took him away from his hometown of Louisville to several small towns in Tennessee and Virginia.

He and his family moved to Dayton in 1968, where he was a founding member of St. Bridget Parish. He continued to serve as a deacon at St. Bridget into his retirement.

Deacon Kiefer also served as founding director of Rhea of Sunshine in Rhea County. In addition to his devotion to his family, he was devoted to service to others while at Rhea of Sunshine and other volunteer organizations.

Deacon Kiefer is preceded in death by his parents, Charles H. and Mary Elizabeth Kilcourse Kiefer; brother, Charles Kiefer; and wife, Mary Ann Kiefer.

Survivors include children David (Mitzi) Kiefer of Knoxville, Suzanne Kiefer of Dayton, and Christopher (Christine) Kiefer of Colorado Springs, Colo.; grandchildren, Michael Petro, Elyssa (Jesse) Robbins, Sarah (Nicholas) LeRay, Shauna Mackey, Phillip Kiefer, and Christopher Kiefer. Donations in Deacon Kiefer’s memory may be made to St. Bridget Church, P.O. Box 106, Dayton, TN 37321 and the Animal Shelter Alliance of Rhea County, 9118 Back Valley Road, Evensville, TN 37332.

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