Dolores “Lori” Kelsey


Dolores “Lori” Kelsey, 94, of Mitchell, SD passed away on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at her residence. Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at First Lutheran Church in Mitchell; visitation will begin one hour prior. Burial will be at 1:30 PM in Servicemen’s Cemetery. Arrangements by Will Funeral Chapel.

Lori was born on July 3rd, 1928 in Wentworth, SD to Virginia and Ingvald Olson and was raised on the family farm north of Artesian. She graduated from Artesian High School where she was selected as Homecoming Queen. After graduation Lori moved to Sioux Falls with several friends to work.

Lori married the love of her life, Blair Kelsey, on December 19th, 1948. Blair was from Fedora, SD and was a decorated (Purple Heart) WWII veteran. Theirs was a wonderful marriage and partnership that lasted almost 50 years until Blair passed in July 1998. They lived in Brookings, SD while Blair attended South Dakota State University. They then lived in Artesian and started a family before moving to Mitchell in 1958. Dolores devoted her life to her husband, family and friends. She worked at JC Penny and Geyerman’s in Mitchell where her fashion skills were greatly valued. She was an avid gardener who loved her flowers and was a tireless volunteer in the Mitchell community. She was a charter member of the Lioness Club, served First Lutheran Church activities, the Mitchell Garden Club and volunteered at the Firesteel Health Care Center. She loved to cook and bake and everyone looked forward to her caramel rolls, homemade cookies and bread wreaths at Christmas. She greatly enjoyed the camaraderie of all the gals in her exercise groups and was a long-time member of the Mitchell Rec Center. She was a fixture at the Corn Palace for MHS and DWU basketball and was a huge supporter who, if she had to miss a game, had the play by play on the radio.

She loved to travel and took many wonderful trips with Blair and continued to travel after he passed. Lori and Blair loved to dance and we know their dance will continue when reunited in Heaven.

She is survived by her children; Kim Kelsey (Mary Wacey) of Houston, TX; Sandra (Mike) O’Brien of Fort Collins, CO; Steve (Nancy) Kelsey of Aberdeen, SD; Sherri Dahl of Mitchell, SD; her grandchildren Letisha & Dylan Kelsey, Jason & Kristin O’Brien, Adam (Emily) & Abby Kelsey, Ryan Dahl & Kara (Dahl) Zaczek and great grandchildren Noah Zaczek, and Silas,Esme,Oakley Kelsey and Owen Meiers. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Blair Kelsey, parents, Virginia and Ingvald Olson, and her sister, Joyce Mills.

Memorial contributions can be made to: First Lutheran Church, LifeQuest or the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village

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