Eugene B. "Gene" Kelker
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81, a lifelong resident of Dover died Thursday morning, March 20, 2014 in the Hennis Care Centre at Dover following an extended illness. Gene retired as Special Service Supervisor at the General Telephone Co. in New Philadelphia where he worked for nearly 32 years. Following retirement, he was an employee of the former Endres Floral Company in New Philadelphia. Born May 14, 1932 in Dover, he was the son of the late John T. and Leoda (Knott) Kelker. In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by a sister, Audrey B. Bonner. He was an active member of the St. Mark A.M.E. Zion Church in Dover where he served as a Trustee for over 50 years, Sunday School Superintendent, and carried out the custodial duties for many years. He was a member and Past President of the Tuscarawas County YMCA Board of Directors, member of the Citizens of Human Concerns, member of the City of Dover Parks Advisory Board, was active in the Boy Scouts of America and member of the American Legion at Dover.
Gene graduated from Dover High School in 1950 where he was President of his Class. He was the first African American to play in the Dover High School Marching Tornadoes. Following high school, he proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and served in the Army Reserves for many years. An avid Dover Tornado football fan, Gene was a season ticket holder for over 50 years.
He will be sadly missed by his family including his wife Catherine (Ray) Kelker with whom he would have celebrated 61 years of marriage this July 12; five children, Thomas Eugene (Ellen) Kelker of New Philadelphia, Cheryl Elizabeth (Anthony) Davis of Marion, Ohio, Duane "Jay" (Cathy) Kelker of Wadsworth, Ohio, Richard Brent Kelker of Dover and Laura Jane Kelker of New Philadelphia; four grandchildren, Britany Evans, Dominique Mason, Ashley Kelker and Broderic Kelker; five great grandchildren, seven brothers and sisters, Charles B. (Sarah) Kelker of Ennis, Texas, Josephine E. (Frank) Lowery of Dover, Shirley C. (Eddie) Mills of Dover, Glenda Faye (Joseph) Sherrell of Akron, Woodrow Herman (Patricia) Kelker of Columbus, Brian R. Kelker of Dover and Wendy S. Greene of Indianapolis, Ind.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 25, 2014 beginning at 11a.m. in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory at Dover Rev. Janet D. Boddie officiating. Military honors will follow at the Dover Burial Park by the New Philadelphia VFW. Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday from 4-8p.m. and Tuesday from 10-11a.m. at the funeral home. Those unable to attend or who may wish to express a fond memory of Gene may sign the online guestbook by visiting the "obituaries and flowers" link on the funeral home website at www.tolandherzig.com In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either the
or the Kidney Foundation in his memory.
Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory
803 N Wooster Ave Dover, OH 44622
Published in The Times Reporter on Mar. 22, 2014