Cover photo for DeVere "De" Kelsey's Obituary
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DeVere "De" Kelsey

April 18, 1940 — March 29, 2024

DeVere "De" Kelsey

DeVere “De” Kelsey passed away peacefully on Friday, March 29th surrounded by his family. He was born on April 18th, 1940 in Springville, Utah to Arthur and Myrtle Kelsey. He was the middle of nine children. The family moved frequently as his father struggled to find work. Once, while living in Spanish Fork, De’s chore was to bring in fuel for the fire. Since the family couldn’t afford coal, they began dismantling a wood barn to burn for warmth.  De said they literally burned down the barn to stay warm that winter.

De graduated from Payson High School in 1959, being the first in his family to do so. He immediately joined the National Guard, but left after completing basic training in order to marry the love of his life, Donna Jean Bowles. De and Donna were married on December 9th, 1960 in the Manti Temple. In their early years together, De held various jobs including with the Forest Service, Kennecott Copper, and Custom Upholstery. Eventually they moved to Springville and De became a police officer with Springville City and purchased equipment to start an upholstery business working out of his garage. Both De and Donna won many trophies at shooting competitions affiliated with the Utah Police Officers Association.

In 1972, De and Donna moved their little family to Nephi when they had the chance to purchase the Fros-T-Freez Drive In from Donna’s parents. After moving to Nephi, De joined the Search & Rescue  and was affiliated with that organization for the next 18-years. In addition, De began collecting Utah “tokens” and amassed one of the rarest collections in the state. Tokens were coins that were used for bartering in the early history of Utah. Later, De became a truck driver and continued his love of history by visiting historical sites while driving his routes across the West. In the past several years, De started a new hobby of wood-carving. He enjoyed cutting and carving and painting to reveal the animal he could see within a piece of wood. He won many ribbons for his entries in county and state fairs.

Of all his varied interests and activities, De was most proud of his family. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, three sisters, and a grandson, John Erikson. He is survived by his wife: Donna Kelsey. Two younger brothers: Gary (Lori) Kelsey and Ken (Kathy) Kelsey. His seven children: Lorrie (Dean) Crandall, Rob (Doreen) Kelsey, Karen (Joe) Carter, Shellie (Bill) Erikson, Greg (Amber) Kelsey, Jason (Rebecca) Kelsey, and Kristopher (Suzanne) Kelsey. He is the proud grandfather to twenty-eight grandchildren and great-grandfather to thirteen great-grandchildren!

There will be a viewing on Wednesday, April 3rd from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Anderson Funeral Home. Funeral service will be on Thursday, April 4th beginning at 11:00 am at the Nephi Utah North Stake Center Building. The service will be preceded by a viewing from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. Interment will be at the Vine Bluff Cemetery in Nephi, UT.

The family would like to thank Dr. Taylor for the wonderful care he gave De during his entire life as well as the incredible nurses and dietary staff at Central Valley Medical Center and Dr. Rosenbeck for their care the last few days.

The service will be livestreamed on the Anderson Funeral Home Facebook Page at the following link:
https://www.facebook.com/people/Anderson-Funeral-Home/100068057016733/
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)

DeVere Kelsey - Funeral Recording.mp3

Past Services

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

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Funeral Service

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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