Theodore Kiesewetter “Ted,” 82, of Montclair, died on Friday, May 24, 2019, at home surrounded by his family.
Mr. Kiesewetter was born in Seattle, Wash., to Wilhelmina Louise Cambier and Estor Kiesewetter. He grew up in the Netherlands, returning to the United States in 1954.
Mr. Kiesewetter enlisted and served in the U.S. Navy, traveling to many ports in Asia.
He graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelors in arts degree in international business. He attended University de Lausanne in Switzerland, and worked as regional sales manager for Omark International in the Netherlands, requiring extensive world travel and his fluency in five languages.
Mr. Kiesewetter returned to the United States, worked for Fischertechnik and ultimately founded International Playthings, Inc. (IPI). IPI was an importer and distributor of high quality educational childrens’ toys from Europe, such as Sasha Dolls, Polistil, Ravensburger, Viking Toys, Quercetti and Solido. In later years, IPI also began manufacturing, requiring regular travel in Asia.
IPI grew from a small business in the garage of his home to a well known and highly respected international corporation. In retirement, he enjoyed travel, golf, photography, bird-watching, stimulating conversation and people of all walks of life. Even in retirement, a piece of his heart remained in the toy industry, where he was active until his death.
Mr. Kiesewetter is survived by his wife, Laura Kiesewetter, two daughters, Jackie Kiesewetter and Anita Kiesewetter, two granddaughters, Briana Pagdon and Shannon Pagdon. His former spouse is Barbara Kiesewetter.
Cremation services were private. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.
Donations in the memory of Theodore Kiesewetter may be made to the hospice organization of your choice, The YMCA of Montclair, 25 Park St., Montclair or visit the website at montclairymca.org or the National Audubon Society at action.audubon.org.