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Cecil “Bus” Ray Kelver (96) passed away peacefully on November 11, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. Bus was born in Osceola July 9, 1927, to William and Francis (Ray) Kelver. One of five children, four boys and one sister (Kenneth, Leo, William and Kay “Cookie”). Bus never knew a stranger and always had a friend close by,
Bus was a lifelong resident of Osceola and was well known in the local community. He served many years for several organizations, always looking for ways to make the world around him better. These organizations included the Osceola Historical Society, the Osceola Business Association, the local Masonic Lodge, and, through his church, The Osceola United Methodist Church.
Bus was a proud 1945 graduate of Mishawaka High School and stayed in touch with many of his high school classmates over the years. On July 25, 1948, he married the first love of his life, Evelyn Rhodes. For 46 years they built a wonderful life, bringing 4 children into this world: Tina, Kathy, Wendy and Alan. Bus was a co-owner at Kelver’s Garage for over 50 years in Osceola, providing a blessed life for his family. During this time, Bus also served in the US Navy. He went through basic training and lived off the coast of Chicago at the Great Lakes Naval Station. Bus is a proud Veteran who served on the Valencia in the end of World War II (1945-1946). Shortly thereafter, a conflict began in Korea, and he began service on the USS New Jersey (1950-1952), an Iowa Class Battleship – BB-62. He brought this ship out of moth balls on the East Coast, through the Panama Canal, out to California, and, finally, to the Asian Pacific. Bus served many decks below water level, tending to the massive engines that powered the battleship.
After the passing of his first love in 1994, he met the second love of his life, Gloria Haeck. After Gloria showed up at Kelver’s Garage twice in two weeks with flat tires, they were destined to be together. For over 29 years, they shared their lives and families. Bus was preceded in death by his parents, William and Francis, his daughter, Tina, his wife, Evelyn, his second love, Gloria, his brothers, Bill, Leo, and Kenny, his sister Cookie, and his granddaughter, Jill Belbey.
He is survived by a community that loves him, 3 children: Kathy Floerkey (Jerry Stoeckinger) of Niles, MI, Wendy (David) Sheets of Osceola, IN, Alan (Joy) Kelver of Greensboro, GA, 5 grandchildren: Dennis Belbey of Somerville, AL, Chris (Kelly) Florekey of Danville, AL, Sarah (Steven Suglia) Sheets, Aaron (Hailey) Sheets, and Corey (Laura) Sheets, and 5 great-grandchildren: Mark Belbey, Matthew Floerkey, Julia Sheets, Chandler Sheets, and Claire Sheets. Also surviving are many loved ones from Gloria’s family who have been family to Bus for 29 years.
Bus will be remembered for many things in his long 96 years, but to name a few very important to him would be: Running the Bus Kelver’s Frog Jumping Contest at the Osceola Bluegrass Festival for almost 40 years, riding his decorated three-wheeler in the Osceola Memorial Day Parade, being a Brother in the Free Masons of both Osceola and Mishawaka for over 50 years (serving as the Master of the Osceola Lodge in 1967), being a lifelong Christian and member of the Osceola United Methodist Church, donating over 30 gallons of blood throughout his lifetime, being a Bi-Centennial Torch Bearer in Indiana in 2016, and his many fish fries. His hobbies included pitching horseshoes, gardening, growing pumpkins with people’s names carved into them, splitting wood, and wearing his trademark denim bib-overalls. He made the world a much better place and touched the hearts of many.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 pm Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the Osceola United Methodist Church, 431 N Beech Rd, Osceola, IN 46561. There will also be an hour of visitation prior to the 1:00 pm funeral service at Osceola United Methodist Church on Friday, November 17, 2023, with interment and military honors to follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola. Cruz Family Funeral Home of Osceola has been entrusted with his care. To view his funeral service in real time, please follow this link to the Church’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/osceolaunitedmethodist/
Donations may be given in Bus’s name to the St. Margaret’s House, 117 N Lafayette Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601 or Logan Community Resources, 2505 E Jefferson Blvd, South Bend, IN 46615.
To light a virtual candle, share a story of Bus’s life, or leave a message of comfort for his family, please visit our website at www.CruzFamilyFH.com