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Thomas Kelsey VIEW PROFILE

Thomas Kelsey

Tom Kelsey's obituary, as published by the Chicago Tribune:
Thomas Craig Kelsey, age 70, died on Saturday, December 24, 2016 at his home in Safety Harbor, FL surrounded by his children. He was born June 20, 1946 in Chicago Illinois to Ross and Virginia (Myhrum) Kelsey and was the oldest of two children. After graduating in 1964 from Evanston Township High School, Evanston IL, he attended Stanford University, Stanford CA. Thomas enlisted in the US Army in 1966. He underwent basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and AIT at Fort Ord, CA, following which he attended OCS at Fort Benning, GA. He was commissioned in 1967. He was assigned to Fort Lewis, WA and then to the Republic of Vietnam where he arrived in 1968 in which he served as the Unit Commander for Co C 1st BN 26th Inf 1st Inf DIV. In 1969, Thomas retired as a Captain from the US Army with the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device, Combat Infantryman Badge and Expert Infantry Badge with Rifle Bar. After retiring from the US Army, Thomas worked as a detective and auctioneer. He then went to work as the Show Manager for the Chicago, New York and Minneapolis Auto Shows for 30 years. Thomas had a love for travel in which he traveled to various countries on every continent except for Antarctica. Thomas was a philosopher, poet, writer and a seeker of all knowledge. He also had a true love of many different languages as he was fluent in Spanish and German and currently learning Greek. Thomas was preceded in death by his wife, Carol, his father, Ross and his mother, Virginia. Thomas is survived by his sister, Diane (Tim) Noble of Boulder Junction WI, one son, John Kelsey of Colorado Springs CO, two daughters, Laura (Tom) Cockrum of Blakely GA, Catherine (William) Dagenhart of Blakely GA and seven grandchildren, Alexander, Elizabeth, Kelsey, Trey, Thomas, Andrew and Carol. Visitation will be from 4:00 until 8:00 pm at Sylvan Abbey funeral home, Clearwater FL on Thursday December 29. Graveside service will be at Bayview Cemetery, Pensacola FL December 31, 11:00 am.



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12/29/16 10:34 AM #3    

Barbara Greenfield (Berger)

Tom and I were great friends at College Hill and Timber Ridge schools. We had a wonderful talk at the 50th reunion. He was still sweet, softspoken and warm, just as I remembered him.Rest in peace, Tom.

12/29/16 10:53 AM #4    

Nancy Schroeder

I didn't know Tom well in high school but got to know him at the last reunion. What a wonderful person and he didn't live far from me in Florida. We exchanged Christmas cards and always talked about getting together which I am really sorry never happened. May he Rest In Peace.

12/29/16 11:39 AM #5    

Lee Saberson

Ate lunch in West Hall with Tom as he wrestled at ETHS. Had several honors classes with him he was brilliant and funny. I knew he was wounded but not how many medals. God rest your soul Tom.

12/29/16 01:27 PM #6    

Steven Johnson

Tom was a good friend to me at both ETHS and Stanford. I lost touch with him and was sorry that his contact info wasn't on the website. He obviously had a rich full life and was as funny, tough and smart in the years after I knew him as he was when we hung out.

12/29/16 03:58 PM #7    

Mary-Nona Saccoman (Hudson)

Words can't describe how sad I feel.  He not only was my first love but in many ways was my great love.   I met his wife Carol at our 25th reunion and she told me that I was the only other person he had loved.  Carol died of cancer a few years later.  I saw Tom again at our 40th reunion.  The sparks were still there, but I was (and am) married, and all he could say was, "Is he taking good care of you?"  Tom was a complex person.  He was very protective, funny (he loved to "double talk"), innately bright, had a great ear for languages and accents, often nonconformist, not sentimental, not worried about what others thought of him, kind to those ostracized by others and non-judgmental.  I almost called him on his 70th birthday, but I didn't.  Now I'll never be able to.  RIP, dear Tom.


12/29/16 08:20 PM #8    

Rosanne Bass (Keynan)

I used to walk from the bus stop with Tom to our respective neighborhoods between Golf Road and Church. He was a man of few words then. I was sorry to read that he had died and found the biographical information in his obituary fascinating. Being a journalist and a curious person, I wanted to learn more, but the internet didn't yield much. Very impressive, however, was his short and distinguished military career; he became the company commander of his army infantry division, nicknamed "the Big Red 1." It was the first division to deploy to Vietnam. One can't help but wonder how that affected the rest of his life.

12/30/16 09:33 AM #9    

Roger Dorio

Wow - I was so glad to have spent time elite Tom at the reunion- great guy- great athlete great friend!!

12/30/16 10:58 AM #10    

Alison Van Swearingen (Brown)

I also spent some time at the reunion talking with Tom, teasing him about being a Quadrangle hall guard.  For anyone with the '64 yearbook, pg.194 has a picture of him sitting in one of those comfortable (?) chairs looking at something he had with him, or, was he cat napping.  We will ever know for sure, but he was great fun.

12/30/16 11:41 AM #11    

Bruce Boyer

Tom and I took European History from Bernie Matson senior year. His brains were evident, of course, but so was his quick mind. Once, when we were reviewing a test we had taken the day before, Matson asked Tom if he;s ever heard of the Duet of Worms. Tom said, "Yeah, yesterday."

But the real coup de grace was fabulous! Matson had a fondness for hanbging historial maps at the front of the room -- you know, showing Europe in such and such a year. So one day he asked Tom to go up to the front and "describe" the map. Let's say it was of Europe at the time of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1715. So Tom proceeded to note that the yellow country was France, the red was Spain, the blue was Bavaria, the Green was England and so forth. Once he'd identified them all -- correctly -- he then proceeded to describe the map. "Notice," he said, "how well the green and the yellow go together. And how the red and the blue complement each other.And this purple is really pretty ." And so on. Once he had finally described the colors on the mapo, he went back to his desk and sat down. Matson, to his credit, just smiled. Well, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind . . ."

Now, that's a sense of humor!


07/05/22 11:51 AM #12    

Julian Persin

Other than in an obituary, can anyone find a record of a Thomas Craig Kelsey receiving a Silver Star?

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