Dr. Robert Rogers Kelso

Sep 10, 1931 – Apr 18, 2019

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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

Phone: (307) 864-3629

-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



K. Williams
Natchez, MS
Jun 16, 2019

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Please keep in mind that God will heal your broken hearts and will strengthen you during this difficult time. (Psalm 147:3) To find out more regarding the hope for the dead, visit JW.org and search “death”.

Edie Phillips
Cody, WY
May 6, 2019

My heart goes out to Janine, Julia, Laurel, Lolly, Alan, Margaret, Robert, and all who loved Bob Kelso, too many to count. He indeed was a great man who did great work, always quietly without fanfare, but with remarkable grace and wit.

Marilyn and Allan Braaten
Thermopolis , WY
Apr 30, 2019

So sorry to hear about Bob. Love and prayers for God's peace to you all.

Norm Garlie
Danbury, Wisc
Apr 28, 2019

Bob hired me for my first professional counselling position at the Wyoming State Hospital. He was highly involved in Wyoming Vocational Rehabilitation for several years before returning to school for his PhD. I recall him taking me to dinner after my job interview at the Jolly Roger in Evanston. He introduced me to Galiano. We became close friends over the years. Both he and Janine were special people to us. Julia even spent some time living with us in Newfoundland. We will miss him very much and send our love to his family.

Louise Odde
Thermopolis, WY
Apr 27, 2019

Bob is in a better place taking care of all who proceeded him.. You both have been sorely missed in Thermopolis love you both

The Rev. Joe & Ellen Galligan
Thermopolis, WY
Apr 27, 2019

Sad to here of his passing. He was a special man and good friend. Blessings and prayers for Janine, Laurel and Julia, Rolando and Paolo. Bob and Janine are both missed here.

Howard & Belenda Willson
Thermopolis, WY
Apr 27, 2019

We always considered Bob a dear friend. He helped many people in his long tenure at Gottsche. We have fond memories of this gracious, kind quiet man.

Rest In Peace.

Howard and Belenda

Howard & Belenda Willson
Thermopolis, WY
Apr 27, 2019

We always considered Bob a dear friend. He helped many people in his long tenure at Gottsche. We have fond memories of this gracious, kind quiet man.

Rest In Peace.

Howard and Belenda

Seattle, Wa
Apr 26, 2019

I wish to express my condolences to the family concerning your loved one. May the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort do this for you as you go through all trials.All are in his memory and soon dead loved ones will be brought back to a paradise earth. Isaiah 25:8 and Revelation 21:3,4

Sheila Lutz
Thermopolis, Wy
Apr 26, 2019

My many encounters with Bob made me a better person and for that I am enterally grateful.

Guy and Beth Drake
Rosarito, MX
Apr 26, 2019

Cathy Lance
Laramie, WY
Apr 26, 2019

I was so sad to hear that Dr. Bob has died. He was one of a kind. Peggy Schneider, Linda Cowger and I spent many hours getting free advice from this wise man. So many Head Start families and children benefitted from him.

May God comfort all who loved him.

Ward S3
Olympia , Wa
Apr 25, 2019

Our sincere condolences to the Kelso family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Laurel,Rolando and Paolo during this difficult time for your family.

S3 Staff

Alda Brost
Chandler, Arizona
Apr 25, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss-He was a sweet ,kind man. I admired his knowledge and his sense of humor.

Jeanne Beyette
Thermopolis, Wyoming
Apr 25, 2019

I was just thinking about you, Janine, and was going to drop a note. I'm so sorry for your loss. Bob was such a wonderful , kind and gracious person. I think of the two of you often. Did not know you had left Billings. I'm glad you're with family at this time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Connie hart
Thermopolis, Wy
Apr 25, 2019

So sorry to eat about Bob enjoyed working with him and Janine. Miss you

DEb Mount
Thermopolis , Wyo
Apr 25, 2019

So sorry to hear about prayers for your family such a sweet and caring man he will be missed

Carol Vicklund Bivens
Thermopolis , WY
Apr 25, 2019

Dearest Janine, Julia, Laurel and family,

So very sorry about the loss of your beloved husband and father. He was a legacy in Thermopolis--his quiet manner and presence was always comforting in church or anywhere else you saw him. His humor and intelligence will not soon be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are going out to you and your family. With much love--Carol and Marton and family.

Kirk Lance
Portland , Or
Apr 25, 2019

What a remarkable fellow. I have such fond memories of him. The world became a better place because he was a part of it. The hallmark of a life very well lived. Thank you Dr. Kelso.

Carolyn Conner
Apr 25, 2019

Dr. Bob is one of my very favorite people. We worked together for nearly 20 years. He helped us transition our program from serving students with mulit-disabilites to serving studentswith emotional and behavioral disabilites. Dr. Bob was always very supportive of our students, staff, program, and personally encouraged and taught me. I am thinking of many fond memeories of Bob and Janine today.

My condolences to the family. Love and prayers to Janine and family.

Lynda Wyss
Buffalo , WY
Apr 25, 2019

Bob’s support and care for his family and his community was an inspiration. We are thankful to have known him and send our wishes for peace and comfort to the Kelso family.

Bob & Lynda

Carllena Farman
Jacksonville, Fl
Apr 25, 2019

such a sweet and caring person with a heart of gold..will surely b missed

DiAnn Butler
Thermopolis , Wy
Apr 25, 2019

Bob was a great man! He was one of the most careing and giving man I have ever known He will be missed He was a asset to all of us in Hot Springs county

Babette Britton
Boise , ID
Apr 25, 2019

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember Bob fondly, working with both him and Janine. My prayers and sincerest condolences to all of you.

Lin Davenport
Gillette , WY
Apr 25, 2019

Dear Janine and family,

I am sorry to hear about the loss of Bob. May God’s love and peace be with you all. My heart and prayers are with you.

Susan Nichols
Thermopolis, WY
Apr 25, 2019

I had the great pleasure of working with Bob at NWBOCES for many years. He was a compassionate, patient, and calm man both with students and staff. He always made me stop and think—what a wonderful gift that was! I have the greatest respect and admiration for Bob, and it makes me smile to remember his kind and gentle ways and his easy laugh. My heartfelt condolences to his family.

Bink Realing
Rock Springs, WY
Apr 25, 2019

I never met Bob.. but my sister, Monie, worked for him many years. He was highly revered by her. I was always told.. He was the best of all bests. May his family capture peace through wonderful memories and God's Great Grace.

Patti Jeunehomme
Thermopolis , WY
Apr 25, 2019

I am sad to hear of the passing of Bob. He touched many peoples lives. He was the go to guy when looking for an answer to something. My condolences to Janine and the girls

Amber Gottula Meier
Ther8, Wy
Apr 25, 2019

So sorry to hear this. Bob was a great guy. Knowing him from childhood, Jobs daughter, and working at Boces he was always positive. Sending prayers and thoughts to all.

Jean Pinter
Cheyenne , WY
Apr 25, 2019

Bob was a family friend; role model, & all around

Good guy. All the Pinters will remember him

Fondly. Our sincere condolences & much Love.

Aloha & hugs.

Nan Hruska
Bozeman , Mt
Apr 25, 2019

Bob will be missed. He was one of the kindest souls I have ever known in my life. He loved his work at the children center and we loved having him around. The world was a better place for having Bob Kelso in it

Danny & Gloria Lewis
Thermopolis, Wy
Apr 25, 2019

If dogs go to heaven then Hoagie is reunited with his master.

Sarah Voigt Gasamis
Seattle, WA
Apr 25, 2019

Bob has been so good to me over the years and different phases of my life that I've known him. I will miss his calm presence, wise words, and slightly mischievous laugh.

Margaret Alsholm
Sedona, Az
Apr 25, 2019

I always adored my Uncle Bob. When I was 8 years old he gave me a single cultured pearl on a gold chain. At age 70, I still wear it for special occasions. When I got married in 1989, my uncle Bob walked me down the aisle and gave me away. I think at times he took on a fatherly role, as a replacement for my father who passed away when I was 3 years old. Bob was always there when we needed him. and always like to kid me with his dry humor.

He will be missed.

Margaret (Phillips) Alsholm

T J and Lea Schoenewald
Thermopolis, WY
Apr 25, 2019

We are so sorry to hear of Doc's passing. We are much better people for having known him.

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.