OBITUARY: William ‘Leo’ Kiely III, 75; former Coors Brewing president

William “Leo” Kiely III, 75, of Palos Verdes Estates, California, died peacefully at his home on Jan. 6, 2023.

He was born in Marblehead on Jan. 16, 1947. He met Susan Burkhardt in Philadelphia, where they were married on May 16, 1970. Together, they shared their deep faith in Jesus Christ and were blessed with two children, four grandchildren and a lifelong, long marriage.

William ‘Leo’ Kiely III

Leo graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1969 and from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA. in 1970.

Leo’s remarkable business career started at Procter and Gamble. He worked at Wilson Sporting Goods, Ventura Coastal Corp. and at Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo.

In 1993, he became president of the Coors Brewing Company. He led the acquisition of Carling in the U.K. in 2001 and the merger of Molson (Canada) and Coors in 2005. He also led the merger of the second and third largest beer companies in the U.S., forming MillerCoors in 2008 and was CEO until 2011.

Leo served on several corporate and philanthropic boards, including the Altria Group Inc. and the Denver Center of Performing Arts.

In retirement, Leo and Susan enjoyed time with their children’s families in Denver, Colorado, and Hermosa Beach, California, and eventually settled in Palos Verdes. Leo adored his wife, Susan, an ordained minister, and eagerly supported her charitable activities, including a foundation centered on women’s empowerment.

He partnered with both of his children in many ventures, including numerous film projects via Windowseat Pictures with his son Bill.

He sailed the BVIs and the Pacific Coast with family and friends, rode a Harley with his buddies in the Colorado Rockies, and shared his passion for sports and music with many, including Whitney and his cherished grandchildren, Leo V, Tegan, Margot and Marshall.

The family is grateful for all prayers and sympathy as they celebrate Leo, a man who lived life to the fullest. His powerful intellect, great heart and uplifting spirit will live on in the memory of his loved ones, his faithful friends and all those who were fortunate to know him.

William “Leo” Kiely Ill is survived by Susan Burkhardt Kiely, his loving wife of 52 years; his children, William Leo Kiely IV and wife Gail Chalmers Kiely; Whitney Kiely Moehle and husband Doug Moehle; his grandchildren, William “Leo” Kiely V, Tegan Kiely, Margot Moehle, and Marshall Moehle; his brothers, Graves M. Kiely and Frank N. Kiely; and sister, Katherine E. Kiely.

He was predeceased by his brother, Joseph H. Kiely Sr.; and parents, William Leo Kiely II and Judith Graves Kiely.

Family and friends will be invited to gather in Denver and Marblehead at a later date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family would so appreciate your consideration in donating to the Kiely Moehle Family Foundation Fund:

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