Earl E. Keister was born in Stratsburg and attended Roanoke College with the class of 1913, but terminated his college career early to acquire and manage the Strasburg News, a weekly newspaper. From that beginning he acquired five area weekly newspapers and combined them into the Northern Virginia Daily in 1932-at the height of the depression.
In 1944 he established the Keister Advertising Service, which produces a "Support the Church" advertising feature with world-wide circulation. It is now constructed by 1100 newspapers in the United States. The program won 13 awards from the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
His church activities include membership on St. Paul's Lutheran Church Council for more than 50 years and superintendence of the Sunday school for 30 years. He has been on the executive committee of the Lutheran Synod of Virginia and the Board of social missions of the United Lutheran Church in America. He has been a Roanoke College trustee since 1943.
Keister was the past president of Shenandoah Valley, Incorporated and was the former director of the Shenandoah County Memorial Hospital, and former Strasburg town councilman. He received the Roanoke College Medal on May 9, 1970 for or his responsible leadership and life of distinctive service.
Elmo E. Keister received the Roanoke College Medal in 1970.