Doradee Kelso, 96, of Nevada, Mo., passed away Monday, May 26, 2014, at her home in Nevada. She was born on Oct. 22, 1917, to Charles Neal and Amy (Porter) Steward in Carthage, Mo. She graduated from Carthage High School and from Stephens College, Columbia, Mo. Following graduation Mrs. Kelso taught in a two-room school near Joplin, Mo., instructing first, second and third grade students while her dear cousin, Charlotte (Steward) Davis, taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades. She married H.A. Kelso and moved to Nevada and the home where she spent the next 73 years. There the Kelsos raised three daughters: Maridee (Kelso) Devore, Constance (Kelso) Beaver and Sylvia (Kelso) Tucker.
Together "Kelly" and Doradee served their church and their community. Mrs. Kelso was an active member of the United Methodist Church and was a past Sunday school teacher, youth leader and women's group president. She prepared thousands of meals for the church, served on dozens of committees, and hosted countless receptions. The Kelsos loved to entertain and her duck hunting breakfasts, fish fries and pecan pie were legendary. Guests in their home ranged from Boy and Girl Scouts to Governors and United States Senators. In their many travels the couple visited every continent except Antarctica, but they always agreed that nothing was as beautiful as the sunset in Vernon County.
Above all else, Doradee loved her God, her husband, and her family. She often said that when she prayed for children God sent her daughters right on time, but she had to wait more than 20 years for her sons (Earl L. Devore and Maridee now live in Ottawa, Kan.; M. Robert Beaver and Constance live in Nevada; and Lawrence R. Tucker and Sylvia now live in Liberty, Mo.) She reveled in the arrival of her grandchildren, Laura (Greg) Devore Swearngin, Steven L. Devore, Sarah (Allen) Beaver Randall, Katie (Troy) Beaver Kiger, Annie (Robert) Tucker Herring, Lauren (Gabe) Tucker McCubbin, and Emily (Eric) Tucker Larson, who learned the meaning of unconditional love and generosity at her feet. Mrs. Kelso also joyfully welcomed 16 great-grandchildren. To them she was the perfect embodiment of Christian love.
In addition to the United Methodist Church, Doradee belonged to United Methodist Women, Helping Hands Circle, Chapter D.W. (P.E.O.), Antique Study Club, and the former Domestic Science Club (M.F.W.C.)
Mrs. Kelso was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Charles Neal Steward Jr.; and Judge H.A. Kelso, her husband of more than 63 years.
A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 31, at the United Methodist Church, 800 S. College St., Nevada. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. It is suggested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the United Methodist Church or The Kelso Scholarship fund of Nevada High School.
View obituary and send condolences online at www.ferryfuneralhome.com.