It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that our father, Eldon Kelm, passed away at sunrise on May 20, 2022 at the age of 81 years old.
Dad was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Shirley Kelm, almost four years to the day (mom died on May 22, 2018). He is survived by his children Lori (Rick) Doan, Mark (Young Ran) Kelm, and Kristal (Ian) Haalboom, his grandchildren Tess Doan, Ari Haalboom, Tate Haalboom, Emma Haalboom, Hannah Kelm, and Sarah Kelm, his sisters Marlene (David) Allen and Donna Smith, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was also predeceased by his parents, Ed and Elsie Kelm.
Dad met our mom on a blind date and they were engaged six weeks later. They spent the early years of their marriage in Neepawa before moving to Dauphin when Dad got a job as a tax assessor for the government. This was the beginning of his 27-year career with the government of Manitoba, eventually working in the forestry department and settling in Winnipeg.
Dad worked with Dutch elm disease and went to the University of Manitoba while working with the government to pursue a degree in entomology when he was in his late forties. He had two courses left to finish when he stopped his studies, much to the chagrin of our mother who tried to persuade him to finish his degree by telling him that we could then add his degree to his obituary. She didn’t succeed in convincing him, but we know that she would want us to be sure to include this here in honour of this significant accomplishment, degree or not.
Dad enjoyed theatre when he lived in Dauphin, and in his retirement he became very involved in doing the camerawork for the church he attended in Selkirk, occasionally preaching there, as well. He moved to Tudor House in 2018, the personal care home where he and our mom spent their final years, and they had 7 weeks together there before our mom passed away. He sometimes preached for their chapel services, and the staff told us during our last visit that he would often read the Bible with residents during the pandemic when their own ministers and family couldn’t visit.
In accordance with dad’s wishes there won’t be a funeral service. If you knew dad and would like to pay tribute to him in some way on your own, we invite you to think of him while listening to Stardust by Willie Nelson or Elvis Presley’s How Great Thou Art, two songs he enjoyed and that we played for him as he prepared to make his final journey. He shared the same faith as his son, Mark, and was very proud of the work Mark does as the senior chaplain at Union Gospel Mission in Winnipeg, so in lieu of flowers if you so desire we invite you to make a donation to Union Gospel Mission in Winnipeg in dad’s name.
Rest on angels’ wings, Dad, until we meet again. Tell mom we miss her.