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Carl Kelton

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Carl Kelton Obituary
Carl "Charlie" E. Kelton

WESTMINSTER, VT Carl "Charlie" E. Kelton, 91, of Route 5 died Friday, December 4, 2015. Charlie was born in Saxtons River, VT and grew up with his brothers and sister on the Sleepy Valley Farm in Athens, VT. He attended the one room school in Athens, Leland & Grey High School in Townshend, and the Vermont Agriculture School in Randolph, VT. He met his wife Shirley Randall in Saxtons River. They were married on October 17, 1943 in Windsor, VT. He served in the Navy as a radioman, fighting in the South Pacific with Admiral Halsey, on the USS Higbee DD806. He came back to Athens and his young family and joined the family business hauling and shipping milk in and out of the Brookside Creamery in Bellows Falls, VT. In 1951 he moved his family and business to White River Junction, establishing Kelton Motors, Inc. on Tafts Flat. He hauled liquor, mail and freight as well as furniture for North American Van Lines. In the early 60's he moved his family and a number of franchises including farm equipment, trucks, and cars to Route 14 in White River. In the late 80's after exhilarating gains and devastating personal and business losses, Charlie and Shirley retired to Westminster. Charlie did much good in his life. He served as Chairman of the Hartford Vermont School Board during construction of the "new" high school, served as Senator from Windsor County and ran for Lieutenant Governor. He was appointed to the Vermont State Highway Board overseeing the construction of the interstate highway system in Vermont, and served many years as member and trustee of the Vermont State Agricultural Society (VT State Fair) in Rutland, VT. During Charlie's illness he was thoughtful and careful with his caregivers. He was especially grateful to his beloved sister, Joanie, who tirelessly gave her love and nursing skills without reservation. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Shirley; his children, Alfred M Kelton & wife, Carol of Wilder, VT, Leslie J. (Kelton) Wells & husband, Timothy of Westminster, VT, Carl "Bodie" E. Kelton, Jr. & wife, Kimberly of White River Jct., and Vernon C. Kelton & Doreen E Kelton of Westminster; his sister, Joan K. Lake of Grafton, VT; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents, Alfred Merle Kelton and Winifred "Winnie" Willena (Sweet) Kelton, and his brothers, Hollon "Pete" Alfred Kelton and Merle Wilfred Kelton. Charlie's death is the end of a long life filled with happiness and sorrows, breathtaking highs and excruciating lows. He was his own man who did what he wanted the way he wanted. He was a lucky man. SERVICES: There will be a private graveside service at 11a.m. Saturday, December 12th in the Houghtonville Cemetery, Grafton, VT. Following the service, all are welcome at a gathering from 12 to 3p.m. at the Grafton Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Vermont State Agricultural Society in Rutland, VT for the state fair, c/o his best friend George Kuusela, 504 Saxtons River Road, Bellows Falls, VT 05101.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Dec. 9, 2015
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