Kenneth Joseph Kelson Sr.

January 22, 2019

Kenneth Joseph Kelson Sr. of Pensacola, FL passed away peacefully at home at the age of 97 on January 20th, 2019. He is now reunited with his one true love of 79 years Helen Zonetta Kelson.

Born September 14th, 1921, to Charles and Anita Kelson. He was the last remaining child out of eight. Along with his parents and siblings, he was also preceded in death by his loving wife and childhood sweetheart Helen and loving son Robert. He is survived by his daughter and caretaker Dixie (Mike) Wilkinson, son’s Kenneth and Albert including ten grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

He met his sweetheart Helen when he was 17 on a church hayride. In 1941, he joined the Navy during WWII and was about to ship out when Helen put her foot down and said he wasn’t going anywhere without her. So on August 8th, 1942, they were married. They spent approximately 79 years together before her passing May 8th, 2016.

He owned and operated Florida Electric Company for over 60 years, only retiring due to health concerns at the age of 93. He also served on the City of Pensacola council from 1959 to 1970 and was a County Commissioner from 1974 to 1994. He was known as “Dr. No”, because he always looked after the citizens during the meetings and voted this way if he felt it was in their best interest. In 1981-1982 he was an advocate to restore the 1890 Court house Clock during his Commission days. It now stands fully operational at the corner of Palafox Place and Government St. After three decades of Public Service the Vernon McDaniel Historical Society presented him with a plaque for his life’s work for exceptional service to the community. He was also presented with a Proclamation by the Escambia County Commissioner’s in July 2015, for his exceptional service to his community and to mankind.

Dad loved his family first and foremost. He also cherished his friends and was devoted to his customers. He never met a stranger and his heart was as big as the County he loved and dedicated so much of his time to.

Special thanks to his grandson and caretaker Cole C. Chancellor. Cole’s favorite and every night ritual would be to tell them “I love you, you’re my heroes, and my best buds”. They loved you so much, Cole!

Another special thanks to Dad and Mom’s Angel’s from Homecare Solutions, Shneidra, Alexandria, Georgia, Yvonne, Hisano, Patricia, Karen, Cassie and all the other staff who took such wonderful care of them. You became our family and we love you all. Also, to Primary House calls Nurses Christy and Barbara. Covenant Hospice Nurses Marty, Barbara, Hanna, DJ, Zackery and of course Aides Tasha and Jane. Your support was amazing and very much appreciated. In lieu of flowers it is requested to send a donation to Covenant Hospice in Dad’s name.

Visitation will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 24th with Services at 11:00 a.m., at Waters and Hibbert Funeral Home, 124 W Gregory St, Pensacola, FL, with Father Dennis O’Brien officiating. Burial following at St John’s cemetery, with Military Honors.


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