Delores “Lori” Kelsey


Dolores “Lori” Kelsey, 94, of Mitchell, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, at her residence.  

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at First Lutheran Church in Mitchell; visitation was one hour prior.  Burial was at 1:30 p.m. in Servicemen’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to: First Lutheran Church, LifeQuest or the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.

Lori was born on July 3, 1928, in Wentworth, 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 to work.

Lori married Blair Kelsey, on Dec. 19, 1948. Blair was from Fedora and was a decorated (Purple Heart) WWII veteran. They were married almost 50 years until Blair passed in July 1998. They lived in Brookings 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 JCPenney and Geyermans in Mitchell. Lori was an avid gardener and volunteer. She was a charter member of the Lioness Club, served in First Lutheran Church activities, participated in the Mitchell Garden Club and volunteered at the Firesteel Health Care Center. She loved to cook and bake. She was a long-time member of the Mitchell Rec Center. She was a fixture at the Corn Palace for MHS and DWU basketball.

She and Blair loved to travel and dance, and Lori continued to travel after Blair’s passing.

She is survived by her children, Kim Kelsey (Mary Wacey) of Houston, Texas, Sandra (Mike) O’Brien of Fort Collins, Colo., Steve (Nancy) Kelsey of Aberdeen, and Sherri Dahl of Mitchell; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

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

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