Dr. Robert Rogers Kelso
Sep 10, 1931 – Apr 18, 2019
Dr. Robert Rogers Kelso
With regret the family of Dr. Robert Rogers Kelso announces his death on Thursday, April 18, 2019.
Born September 10, 1931 in Rock Springs, WY, Bob Kelso grew up in Wyoming and spent the better part of his life in the State. He attended Whitman University in Walla Walla, WA where he received his bachelor’s degree in psychology in1953. He returned to Wyoming as a social worker in Unita County and it was during this time that he met Janine Hoagland, whom he married in 1965. After getting married, Bob and Janine moved to Laramie where he began work on his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and where they had their first child, Julia, in 1968.
After completing his Ph.D., Bob and Janine moved to Greeley, CO, for post-graduate work, where his second child, Laurel, was born. In 1974, the family returned to Wyoming, where Bob took a job as a psychologist at the Gottsche Rehabilitation Center in Thermopolis and where the family stayed for the next 38 years. By the time he retired, Bob was the longest-running employee at Gottsche and had also been voted Wyoming Psychologist of the Year in 1990. In addition to his work at Gottsche, “Dr. Bob” worked at the Children’s Center in Thermopolis. This was one of his greatest professional joys, as he and the kids seemed to speak the same language and had mutual admiration for each other.
Bob read everything he could get his hands on and had been known to read dictionaries and phone books when there was nothing else available, making him a brilliant man with remarkable breadth of knowledge. Bob also loved Operas, classical music, and old Western movies. Late in life he was also exposed to Newfoundland/Irish Folk-Rock, for which he developed quite a fondness. He was a man of simple pleasures, always choosing to give more to others than what he desired for himself.
Bob finally retired in 2008 and he and Janine moved to Billings Montana in 2013, where they were able to immerse themselves in a supportive retirement community. Bob and Janine lived a quiet and peaceful life in Billings until 2018, when they moved to Washington to be closer to their daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. It was his relationship with his grandson over the last seven years that brought him the most joy.
Bob was a devoted husband to Janine, whom he cherished. He spent countless hours assisting Janine with volunteer projects including serving and delivering meals as part of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church’s People for People program. Although, Bob may have preferred reading the day away, he always prioritized the needs of his family without complaint. He was a quite but fiercely dedicated family man, making him not only the light of his wife and daughters’ eyes, but also the favorite uncle of his nieces and nephews.
Bob will be extremely missed by his family. His desert-dry sense of humor, which could level or ease any room, will be forever revered, but never duplicated. There will be few human beings that could measure him in wisdom, generosity, or kindness. Bob was immensely loved by his family and will be remembered with great admiration and affection by all who knew him.
Bob is survived by his wife of 54 years, Janine, his younger sister Laura Ann (Lolly) Jolley, brother-in-law Alan Jolley, his daughters Julia and Laurel, son-in-law Rolando, his most cherished grandson Paolo, and numerous nieces and nephews. His older sister Jean Phillips pre-deceased him in 2011.
Memorials in Bob's memory may be made to:
-Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
642 Arapahoe St, Thermopolis, WY 82443
-St. Vincent de Paul School
30527 8th Ave So. Federal Way, Washington Phone 253-839-3532
-Vista Grande Public Library
7 Avenida Vista Grande B-7 #192
Santa Fe, NM 87508
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.