December 7, 1944 — December 19, 2017
Bruce (Brucie) William Kelm, 73, died Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at the Lebanon, Oregon Veterans Home.
Bruce was born December 7, 1944 in Marshall, Minnesota to Albert and Elowine (Erie) Kelm. He was the younger brother of Keith and Gretchen (whom Bruce called Gray Hen), and older brother to Karen. He graduated from Ivanhoe High School in 1962.
On July 16, 1965, Bruce married Joyce Dahlgren, a marriage which celebrated its 52nd year this year.
Their oldest daughter, Lada, was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and their youngest, Johanna, in Oregon.
Bruce was in the US Army from 1966 to 1969. He was stationed in Babenhausen, Germany, his specialty being Artillery Survey. While in Germany, Bruce became good friends with Gary Colfax, who was in the other survey unit. A close friendship developed between the guys and their wives, Pat and Joyce. Fun times were had with card games, bowling, movies, and traveling together.
Upon Bruce finishing his schooling for technical drafting, tool and dye making, and engineering from vocational technical schools in Mankato and Staples, Minnesota, the Colfaxes encouraged the Kelms to move to Oregon. Bruce was always for an adventure, so in 1973 the family traveled throughout several states west of the Mississippi visiting friends and relatives. Once in Oregon, Bruce wanted to live in a city approximately the size of Mankato, Minnesota, and chose Albany.
Bruce started working at B-J Enterprises, a fairly new company at the time. He worked there for 27 years as a tool and dye maker, general manager and engineer. B-J’s specialized in rare metals and defense contracts. He liked his job and the many friendships it brought.
Once in Albany, the Kelm family became members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Many close friendships developed with families of the congregation. The church and these friendships were a big part of Bruce’s life.
Bruce loved Oregon, with all the many outdoor activities. He had hated the mosquitoes of Minnesota and owned a T-shirt with a large mosquito on it that said “Minnesota State Bird”. Bruce also had a wood-working shop in his home where he manufactured items for craft shows they held in their home.
The last 13 years of Bruce’s life were spent dealing with the awful disease of vascular dementia and Parkinson's disease. Though Joyce cared for Bruce through the majority of this time, the family wishes to thank the Lebanon Veterans Home for the wonderful care he received there during the nearly last three years of his life.
Bruce is survived by his wife Joyce; daughter Lada (Carl) Wilson, and granddaughter Cheyenne
Rae of Albany; daughter Johanna Young and fiancé Jacob Klein of Beaverton; sisters
Gretchen (Harvey) Suhr of Ivanhoe, Minnesota; Karen (Dave) Haroldson of Granite Falls, Minnesota; many nieces and nephews.
Bruce is preceded in death by parents Albert and Elowine; brother Keith; and close friend Don
A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at Good Shepherd
Lutheran Church, located at 1910 34th Ave. SE in Albany.