Obituary for Oct. 23, 2013

Written by Baker City Herald October 23, 2013 08:45 am

‘Don’ Kelso

Baker City, 1927-2013

Donald H. “Don” Kelso, 86, of Baker City, died Oct. 19, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. 

His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Jim Steele of the Happy Valley Evangelical Church will officiate. There will be a graveside service at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Boise National Cemetery.

Don was born on Jan. 24, 1927, at Madrid, Neb., to Edgar and Bernice Henry Kelso. He was raised in Nebraska and as a teen he moved to northern Idaho for a short time before returning to Nebraska.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 9, 1945, and served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. He was wounded in action and received a Purple Heart. 

He was honorably discharged on May 14, 1946. After his military service he moved to Lebanon, Ore., where he worked as an auto mechanic and at a lumber yard. He married Phyllis Gravelle in 1947. After 11 years they divorced. 

He married Ruthann Hatcher in 1963 and they later divorced. 

He was married to Bonnie Medrow for more than 25 years before her death in 2005. On July 6, 2011, he married Elizabeth Wells. 

He returned to Baker City from Lebanon in 1956 and worked as a heavy equipment mechanic. He moved to Meridian, Idaho, in 1978 and then came back to Baker City in 2009. 

He enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He was well-known as someone who could fix or make anything and he built many trailers and even built wreckers. He also enjoyed collecting antiques.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Wells-Kelso of Baker City; son, Boyd Kelso of San Francisco; son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Sandi Kelso of San Antonio, Texas; and daughters and sons-in-law,  Janet and Jerry Groves of Meridian, Idaho, and  Jeannie and Wade Preble of Milwaukee; brother and sister-in-law, Merideth and Merle Kelso; and sister and brother-in-law, Hazel  and Jim Graham; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and several stepchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sons, Larry and D. Jeffery.