Rhoda Kelso

Rhoda I. Kelso, age 102, of Gaylord passed away at Medilodge in Gaylord, Michigan.

She was one of nine children, born to Chester and Mary Jane (Cherwinski) Lewis in Vanderbilt, Michigan, on April 21, 1917.

Rhoda graduated in 1935, with her class of six, from Vanderbilt Community School.

She and her husband Roy bought their farm in 1941 on Hallock Rd., where they raised their four children.  She helped on the farm doing any chores that needed to be done.  Rhoda was always eager to welcome her children’s many friends, whether they came for just a meal or an overnight stay.  She lived on the farm until 2013, when she moved to the Brook and a few years later, to Medilodge.

She liked to keep busy gardening, hunting, being outdoors, traveling, walking, and quilting. She made a quilt top for each of her children, and for the grandchildren, she made a quilt as a wedding gift.  Because many hadn’t married by the time she quit quilting, Rhoda gave each of her children a finished top to be made into a quilt for their children at the time of their marriage.

Rhoda loved to travel and had been to every state in the union. She loved many fishing trips to Canada, enjoyed a two-week vacation with 14 family members in Ireland, along with a very special trip to the Dominican Republic, for her granddaughter Ashley’s wedding.

She was a lifelong member of the Methodist church.  Attending in Vanderbilt, until her children started Gaylord schools, and she felt it was important they attend with their friends.  She was active in her church circle and even helped when they first started making their “famous” pasties.  She was a member of the Historical Society, Farm Bureau, P.T.A., and a member of the Grange.

Rhoda was so thankful for her family, many friends and her Medilodge family.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband John “Roy” Kelso; son John, and grandson David.

Rhoda is survived by Barbara (Eugene) Fleming, Marvin (Nancy) Kelso, Glen (Joy) Kelso; 11 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren, 11 great great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held Thursday, June 20, at the First United Methodist Church at Noon.  A visitation will be held at the Nelson Funeral Home Wednesday, June 19 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and continue at the church beginning at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Otsego County Historical Society, or First United Methodist church, through the Nelson Funeral Home, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.


  1. Diana Peffers June 15, 2019 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Dear Marvin, Nancy, Glen, Joy, Barbara, Gene and grandchildren. I am so sorry to hear of Rhoda’s passing. She had a wonderful and full life. You can all be proud of the way you cared for her. Eternal Rest grant unto her.

  2. Pat Osga June 16, 2019 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear about Rhoda passing. I was just thinking of her the other day.

  3. Mary Evans June 16, 2019 at 11:32 am - Reply

    To the entire Kelso family, you are in our prayers. Such a sweet lady! I know how much Margaret thought of her and of Roy. She also enjoyed her trips with them. Marv and Mary Evans

  4. Julie Spray June 16, 2019 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    So sorry for all the Kelso family. She was a sweet lady. Cari, Heather and I have fond memories of Rhoda and the whole family😊🙏🏻

  5. Connie and Arlen June 16, 2019 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Marvin, Nancy and family we are saddened to learn about your mother’s passing. However she enjoyed a long life of loving family, friends, and farm. She has earned her peace in Heaven. Be blessed in all the wonderful memories you can now call to mind of happier, healthier, times.

  6. Cyn June 16, 2019 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    My heartfelt sympathies are with all of you; Barb and Gene, Glen and Joy, and Marvin and Nancy. Your parents were a special pair, very loving to me!!

  7. Chris Wirgau June 16, 2019 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    To the Kelso family, so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Brian and Chris Wirgau

  8. Frank and Laurie Noa June 17, 2019 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Gene, Barb, Marvin, Nancy and Family, we are so sorry to hear of Rhoda’s passing, such a sweet and happy lady. I always looked forward to see Rhoda and family for Sunday breakfast at Sugar Bowl.. Always a smile and kind words.. She will be miss.. RIP..

  9. Eugene & Kelly Branigan June 17, 2019 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Our deepest condolences to the entire Kelso family.

  10. Loretta& Wendell Wilkie June 18, 2019 at 9:36 am - Reply

    To all my wonderful cousins. We were so sorry to hear of Aunt Rhodas passing. I have great memories of many summer days spent at the farm. Every evening Aunt Rhoda would fix a great meal and always ice cream. A treat for us. RIP Aunt Rhoda

  11. Dorothy Wiest June 18, 2019 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Dear Nance and Marvin, Love and prayers to both of you. Dorothy

  12. Richard & Nancy Ross June 19, 2019 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Our prayers are with the family in this sad time. Rhoda was a wonderful person and will be missed by many.

  13. Vic & Connie Ouellette June 19, 2019 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    What a great lady. I spent some nights there myself. It was like being home, never felt unwelcome or uncomfortable. Our prayers to all family members.

  14. erma Orourke June 20, 2019 at 1:06 am - Reply

    To all the Kelso families, I’m so sorry for the loss of Aunt Rhoda. She was a sweet person and Loved by many. Just remember all the good times you have all had together, it will help to lessen your grief. I am sorry I can’t attend as I was in a car accident and still not so perky.

  15. Melissa Falk June 20, 2019 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Thinking of you all in this time of loss. She was a fabulous lady with much to give! We were so fortunate to know her. May all the grand memories bring a smile to your face… love to you all; friends and neighbors that are like family!❤️

  16. Suzanne Medellin June 20, 2019 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    To all of Rhoda’s families,
    Our dad grew up with Rhoda in Vanderbilt. They were a little more than a year apart in age. Dad, Don Karslake, born Feb, 14, 1918. Our Mother Bonnie, also knew Rhoda quite well. I remember Rhoda as a very loving woman and always like to see her. She had that spark of kindness that went everywhere with her all through her life. She will be missed by all of you and so many others.
    Prayers, Suzanne Karslake Medellin & the Donald and Bonnie Karslake Families

  17. SUSAN K DEPEEL June 21, 2019 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Although it has been about 3 years since I last saw Rhoda, I have fond memories of her at Tendercare. What a blessing and a joy to help care for Rhoda! What a very special and wise person she was! May God comfort you, as I know she will leave a hole in a lot of hearts of those who love her. May your memories bring you close as you continue on without her. May you smile that instant smile when you think of her.

  18. Susan June 25, 2019 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Rhoda was my late husbands Aunt,She had a long full life,God Blessed her

  19. Joe Doremire June 29, 2019 at 9:26 am - Reply

    From the Doremire and Buckler families, our sincere condolences on Rhonda’s passing. She was a wonderful neighbor and friend and we all spent many happy hours with her on the farm and at the Grange. I myself worked with her sons on the farm and over to Zaremba’s in Elmira. Her husband Roy was a great guy and both he and her were good people and always ready to help whether it was plowing snow or cutting firewood.

  20. Jenny Ballantine July 10, 2019 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry to hear of Rhoda’s passing. She had a long full life. I met her when we were both volunteers at the Otsego County Historical Museum.


    Jenny (Mankowski) Ballantine

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