Johann Alois Kaiser (Hans) of Dewey, Ariz., a 33-year resident of Arizona, died at home on Dec. 16, 2012, after a long illness. He was 76 years old. He was born in Munich, Germany, to Emma Sontheimer Kaiser and Johann Kaiser Sr.
Because of World War II, his parents sent him to Bavaria when he was 2 years old to live with his grandparents on their farm. The farm was safer than the city. He stayed on the farm until he was 16 and went back to Munich with his parents. He worked and studied hard and got his masters degree in auto mechanic repair and auto body repair.
In 1968, he and his wife, Anna, came to the United States and lived in Greenwood Lake, N.Y., where he opened an auto repair and body shop. After a divorce, he met Deanna and, in 1979, they moved to Prescott Valley, Ariz., then to Dewey. They were married in 1980. Hans worked for Prescott Auto Body and was manager at ABC Body Shop; then he became body shop manager for Tim's Buick, where he retired from in 2001.
Hans also loved woodworking. He made furniture, toys and collectables. He did beautiful work with his scroll saw. He and Deanna did craft shows until he became ill.
He is survived by his wife Deanna; stepsons David VanVliet and wife Pat in North Pole, Alaska, and Charles VanVliet and wife Nagisa in Livermore, Calif.; stepdaughter Betty Ann VanVliet in North Pole, Alaska; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; cousin Maria Fike and husband Bob in Paxton, Neb.; and brothers-in-law Robert Sherman and wife Dian in Blairstown, N.J., and Charles Sherman and wife Diane in Walden, N.Y.
Hans was preceded in death by his mother, father, stepdaughter Deanna Janke, mother-in-law Elizabeth Sherman and sister-in-law Elizabeth Tullo.
Because of his rare disease, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), Hans has willed his body to Biological Resource Center in hope they can help others with this terrible disease.
A memorial service will take place for family and friends at a later time.