Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home

3321 Glynn Ave, Brunswick, GA


William "Bill" Michael Kelso

9 March, 193225 March, 2020

William Michael Kelso, 88, passed away on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Bill was born March 9, 1932, in Duluth, Minnesota, to James J. and Cecilia A. Moore Kelso. He graduated from Denfeld High School, Duluth, in 1950. Bill was a 45-year resident of Saint Simons Island, Georgia.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force (1951 – 1955) at the beginning of the Korean War stationed in Germany until 1954. Most notably, Bill served as a radar operator for the Tactical Air Command (TAC) on the border of Germany, monitoring Soviet aircraft and responding to any Soviet mobilizations or training activities. After the Air Force, he graduated from the University of Minnesota - Duluth in 1958 with a degree in Business Administration, Economics. Upon graduation, Bill served in the Federal Government for over four decades. He first served for the U.S. Department of Commerce as a small business loan specialist. He then joined the U.S. Department of Treasury, serving ten years as an IRS Special Agent in the Intelligence Division in Minnesota and twenty-three years with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). At FLETC, Bill began as an Instructor then became Division Chief of the Criminal Investigator School. He then served as Assistant Director, then Director, Office of Administration. Bill spent his final three years before retirement as Director, General Training. These latter positions were constituted under the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service (SES). In 1975, Bill was a member of the original team to set up operations at FLETC Glynco campus in Brunswick, Georgia.

Bill was active in many sports throughout this life. He began this foray in elementary school and continued throughout his service in Germany and his university years. Bill excelled in competitive ski jumping, competing in tournaments in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada. He was on the University of Minnesota - Duluth Ski Team during his three winters there, and he also played Junior League Hockey and Fast Pitch Softball through his early adult years. In Germany, he participated in Air Force and Army-organized leagues in Baseball, Football, and Fast Pitch Softball. Following his graduation from UMD, he taught himself to golf, enjoying the game for decades. You could often find him out on the golf courses of St. Simons Island, Georgia. He considered himself to be a jack of all trades and master of none in sports.

Following retirement in 1995, he and his second wife, Lella, traveled extensively, mostly in Europe and on cruises. They had a residence at the foot of the Alps in Northern Italy for more than 20 years.

Bill was also incredibly active in local community organizations. He served on the Glynn County Airport Commission for eight years (Chairman, two years), the US Navy League Local Chapter, The Friendship Force of Coastal Georgia (President, two years), and the St. Simons Island Club Property Owners Association (President, two years).

Bill is survived by his five wonderful children from his first marriage to Marjorie A. Kelso: Mark W. Kelso, Catherine K. Bendin, William P. Kelso (Jamie), Patrick D. Kelso (Mary Ann), and Diane M. Houlihan (Thomas). He is also survived by his fifteen grandchildren, Katherine B. Dill (Jeff), Timothy J. Bendin, Caroline B. Jenison (George), Ian P. Kelso, Kristen M. Kelso, Ashley N. Kelso, Patrick R. Houlihan, Michael T. Houlihan, Madeline C. Kelso, Amelia R. Houlihan, Erin E. Houlihan, Benjamin D. Houlihan, Nicholas G. Houlihan, Marie T. Houlihan, Kathleen A. Houlihan and one great-grandchild, Harper L. Kelso. Also, he is survived by his stepson Leslie G. Moore (Fran), and their children, Andrew T. Moore, Leslie S. Moore (Callen), and grandchildren Cooper A. Moore, Taylor G. Moore, Austin T. Moore, Bailey J. Moore, and Madison B. Moore.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Raffaella M. Kelso, brothers Joseph J. Kelso and James W. Kelso, and his sister Mary K. Abrames.

The family wishes to sincerely acknowledge and thank all of the clinical professionals and support staff at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside and Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, and Hospice of the Golden Isles, Brunswick, Georgia, for their exceptional care of Bill during his journey.

A Memorial Mass at St. Williams Catholic Church, St. Simons Island, Georgia, will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of the Golden Isles, Brunswick, Georgia, or St. William Catholic Church, St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home, www.edomillerandsons.com, is honored to be in charge of the arrangements.


  • James J. Kelso, Father (deceased)
  • Cecilia A. Moore Kelso, Mother (deceased)
  • Raffaella M. Kelso, Second wife (deceased)
  • Joseph J. Kelso, Brother (deceased)
  • James W. Kelso, Brother (deceased)
  • Mary K. Abrames, Sister (deceased)
  • Marjorie A. Kelso, First wife
  • Mark W. Kelso, Son
  • Catherine K. Bendin, Daughter
  • William P. Kelso(Jamie), Son
  • Patrick D. Kelso (Mary Ann), Son
  • Diane M. Houlihan (Thomas), Daughter
  • Katherine B. Dill(Jeff), Grandchild
  • Timothy J. Bendin, Grandchild
  • Caroline B.Jenison (George), Grandchild
  • Ian P. Kelso, Grandchild
  • Kristen M. Kelso, Grandchild
  • Ashley N. Kelso, Grandchild
  • Patrick R. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Michael T. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Madeline C. Kelso, Grandchild
  • Amelia R. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Erin E. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Benjamin D. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Nicholas G. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Marie T. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Katheleen A. Houlihan, Grandchild
  • Harper L. Kelso, Great Grandchild
  • Leslie G. Moore (Fran), Step Son
  • Andrew T. Moore, Step Grandchild
  • Leslie S. Moore( Callen), Step Grandchild
  • Cooper A. Moore, Step great grandchild
  • Taylor G. Moore, Step great grandchild
  • Austin T. Moore, Step great grandchild
  • Bailey J. Moore, Step great grandchild
  • Madison B. Moore, Step great grandchild

Learn more about the Kelso name


  • Funeral Mass will be held at a later date


William "Bill" Michael Kelso

have a memory or condolence to add?

Diana Morrison

28 May 2020

Dear Kelso family.
Prayers for peace and wonderful memories. What an amazing man that has passed on a wonderful legacy through his life to those he touched.

John Dooher

2 April 2020

Bill Kelso was a long time friend and colleague at FLETC. He was one of a relatively small group of people who helped develop FLETC from it’s infancy to the highly respected organization it is today. He held several positions of leadership and provided sound direction with kindness and common sense. A gentleman, loyal to the core and a friend of many. I was fortunate to have been one of those friends. My sincere condolences to his family.
John Dooher( Retired Senior Associate Director, FLETC) Arlington, Va

Kathy Day

29 March 2020

My name is Kathy Moore Day. My sister, Marilyn, and I were the last two first cousins of your Dad. Even though he and his brothers and sister were older than we were,I still have lots of wonderful memories of them. Aunt Cecil always had Easter dinner at her house. She cooked a huge ham, tons of mashed potatoes and ham gravy, which I guess is what we call red-eye gravy in the south!!The boys would have burping contests!I think Kay may have participated too!. We two little girls thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I remember our dad, Bill Moore, taking us to watch Bill ski at Chester Park. When you kids were small and lived in Duluth, Aunt Cecil would come and stay for the weekend every once in a while so your Mom and Dad could have a little break. I think they usually went to Minneapolis. My Mom would bring us over to y'alls house to help entertain all of you. We loved it. Your family also came down to Lake Nebagamon to our cabin in the summer. I have one short video of all of you playing badminton and running around in the grass. In later years, when Marshall and I had a condo on Amelia Island Plantation,we would see Bill at least once every trip! When he was able to, he met us at the Cracker Barrel on I-95 at the Darien exit. Later on, we would drive to his place on St. Simons. He always treated us to a nice lunch! It was so much fun for me to talk about Duluth with him. He and Marshall always shared the names of books they were reading.Their tastes were almost identical. My mom, Grandma B, came on some of those earlier trips and your Dad took us on a tour of FLETEC.A great man and a wonderful cousin!!

Douglas Harris

28 March 2020

My prayers are with you Cathy and your family.

Mary Jane Shumate- Hurd

28 March 2020

Prayers and condolences for Mr. Kelso’s family.
God Bless

Mary Jane Shumate-Hurd

William "Bill" Horn

27 March 2020

During the years Bill lived on St. Simons Island, he was a very active member of St. William Catholic Community. As his health began to fail him he asked for the Sacrament of the Eucharist be brought to him at home. I was so blessed to provide this to him on a regular basis, for which he was most appreciative. He always thanked me for visiting him, but it has truly been my honor to spend time with a man of such deep faith. Rest in peace Brother Bill.

Dave McKinley

27 March 2020

Condolences to the family. Bill was a good friend and a highly competent co-worker.

JoDee Hubbert

27 March 2020

So sorry for your loss. Prayers of comfort for all of you.
JoDee Ellington Hubbert

Scott Bennor

27 March 2020

Sending out prayers to the whole Kelso Klan.

Patricia Varnadore

26 March 2020

I meet the Kelso’s when they first took up residence. She loved recanting life’s moments of her meeting her husband the life they enjoyed together. Mr. Kelso loved her beyond words as he had married his true soul mate. He was devoted as no other man I have ever had pleasure to meet. I enjoyed the time I spent with this couple. True twin flame love and respect.


Learn more about the Kelso name