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Interment following funeral service

Elan Memorial Park
Friday February 14th, 2020

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Benton Christian Church
Friday February 14th, 2020
11:00am - 1:00pm

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Funeral Service

Benton Christian Church
Friday February 14th, 2020

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Kenneth R. Kelsey

Kenneth R. Kelsey, age 96, of 5th St., Benton, passed away at 5:35 a.m. Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at the Brookdale Senior Living Center, Bloomsburg.

Born on June 28, 1923 in Derrs, he was the son of William O. and Irma N. (Keeler) Kelsey. Kenneth was a 1941 graduate of Benton High School and a lifelong resident of the Benton area. He was a self-employed carpenter and contractor.

Kenneth served in the U.S. Army during WWII in the European and South Pacific campaigns.

In 1950, he began his career in general contracting by building his own home in Maple Grove. He eventually expanded his craft by building hundreds of homes in the Benton area, including, pre-manufactured Lincoln homes and Poloron, “stick-built,” homes. He also bought a farm and remodeled the original Benton Fire Hall, Benton Christian Church, and made several additions to the Painter Den Hunting Cabin. He was instrumental in constructing the Nordmont Christian Camp.

Kenneth was an excellent wood worker and operated a wood working shop at the former Stillwater School for 25 years. He enjoyed hunting, traveling by RV, and reading. He was a member of Painter Den Club, Inc. for over 60 years, serving as Chaplain for most of that time. In his earlier years, he played 3rd base and pitched for the Stillwater baseball team and the Tri-County team in Benton. He hitch hiked across the country from California to get married.

Kenneth served as an Elder, trustee, teacher, board member, and president for the Benton Christian Church. He also served as a member and president of the Benton School Board.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, the former Ethel P. Crossley, on January 28, 2014; a son, Robert E. Kelsey, on July 8, 2010; a daughter, Sue Ellen Kelsey, on Jan. 28, 1955; and an infant daughter on July 3, 1961.

He is survived by five children: Sandra K., wife of Robert Hess, Benton, James A. Kelsey, Benton, Ronald W. Kelsey, and his wife Cheryl, Berwick; Jeffrey D. Kelsey, and his wife Sandra, Benton, Lynn E., wife of Kenneth W. Sutton, Sr., Palmerton; a daughter-in-law, Sandra Kelsey, Langhorne; 16 grandchildren; 34 great grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; and a sister, Betty Miller, Grove, OK.

Services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 14, 2020 in the Benton Christian Church, 305 3rd St., Benton, with Rev. Dr. David A. Mansfield, officiating. Viewing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the church. Interment will follow in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Capital Campaign at the Benton Christian Church, P.O. Box 264, Benton, PA 17814.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 30 2 ½ St., Benton.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Kelsey, please visit our flower store.


Condolences to Ken's family. He was a wonderful man and did so much for the Benton area, for the Church, and especially for his family. Ken will be remembered fondly by many.

Teddy & Shirley McHenry Feb 19 2020 12:00 AM

Sending heartfelt sympathies to Ken's family. He was such a kind and friendly man. I always enjoyed seeing him at Benton Christian Church when I'd return home for visits during the holidays. He and Ethel raised a beautiful and loving family and did much for the community and church.
Matthew 25:23
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
RIP Mr. Kelsey.

Wendy Kriebel Feb 18 2020 12:00 AM

Such kind and true words Robi. We will miss him, but oh what good memories we have.
Uncle Ron

Ron Kelsey Feb 15 2020 12:00 AM

We were very sad to hear of Kens passing. Charity and I send our thoughts and prayers to Kens family. Every time Ken would walk past our house on Market Street if I was outside we would start talking about baseball. We couldnt have known a nicer guy and he will be missed.

Bob & Charity Puterbaugh Feb 15 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Kenneth Kelsey

Sharon Feb 15 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Kenneth Kelsey

Owen Hess Feb 14 2020 12:00 AM

So sorry for your loss.....What a wonderful and loved man!!!

Dave & B.J. Davidson Feb 14 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Kenneth Kelsey

Sharon Remphrey Feb 14 2020 12:00 AM

Our dear Pop Pop. What a loving and kind person. Any time I would go to see him or call him on the phone he would say, well hyia Rob (in a very welcoming and calming tone). All of my memories of him are good and decent. We are sad he had to go but glad he is in a much better place. I remember driving with my future wife (Rachel) down to Apache Junction to visit with Pop Pop and Gram. We learned how to play dominoes and laughed into the evening having fun and enjoying the company. Gram served up her huckleberry cobbler and Pop Pop often gave us his distinctive laugh. I also remember the time when I was 8; I had wrecked my bike on a wet West Creek bridge (it was steel at that time). Pop Pop happened to be driving by and stopped to help me up and make sure I was OK. I could see in his eyes and hear by the tone of his voice, he truly cared for me and wanted me to be OK. He put my bike in the back of his truck and drove me home. Ken Kelsey is one of the best men I have ever known. Honorable, loyal, gentle, wise, kind, loving, and peaceful. Visiting with him was like taking in a big breath of fresh air. The world is a little less stable, slightly less loving, without Pop Pop. I look forward to seeing him again. When I get to heaven, I can hardly wait to hear that soft and gentle voice say, well hyia Rob. On a lighter note, Im glad God called another builder home. Pop Pop, maybe you can help Jesus finish up our mansions so we can get on with the second coming. Love you Pop Pop.

Robi, Rachel, Naomi, Tia, Robert, Abraham, Beatrice

Robi Hess Feb 13 2020 12:00 AM

To Kens family I send my heartfelt thoughts and prayers. They dont get any better then Ken. He was a good man who always brought a smile to anyone he met. RIP my friend. God Bless

Bill Garrison Feb 13 2020 12:00 AM

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