Myron "Mike" Plough Kelsey

September 2, 1931February 10, 2019

Myron “Mike” Kelsey died February 10, 2019 at age 87. Dr. Kelsey was a faculty member of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University from 1959 to 2002, with primary responsibilities teaching through Michigan State Cooperative Extension. He founded the annual MSU Income Tax Schools for farm tax preparers held across the state, continuing to work with some teaching sites until 2016.

He also coordinated the first cohort of the Kellogg Farm Leadership Program, whose graduates have served in multiple roles in state and local government. He worked with cooperative farm lenders, county agents, and directly with farm families to establish best practices and solve difficult problems.

Mike Kelsey was devoted to University United Methodist Church in East Lansing for 60 years as a Servant Minister, trustee, and on the finance committee. In retirement he organized multiple service projects, helping individuals in the Lansing area as well as trips to New Orleans and national United Methodist Relief emergency distribution centers in the South and Midwest. For decades he was present for Tuesday Men’s Breakfast, and that group continued to include him by phone each week for almost a year after he could no longer attend in person. Prior to his retirement he also served the maximum term as chairperson of the West Michigan Annual Conference finance committee.

Mike is remembered and missed for his easy laugh, his careful listening, his generous spirit, his wise counsel, and his deep quiet love. His wife, Joan Kelsey, died in 2010. He is survived by his partner Shirley Sliker, brother Fred Kelsey, sister Lois Mirabito, daughter Cathie Kelsey and son-in-law Terry Tice, and son Tim Kelsey and daughter-in-law Alice Kelsey, and grandchildren Julia Kelsey, Emma Kelsey Storch, and Eli Kelsey.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Myron "Mike" Plough Kelsey

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Nancy Creed

February 27, 2019

I had the pleasure of working with Mike for many years. My fondest memory is his laugh. He was a good man, and a true friend. I will miss him very much. My condolences go out to Tim and Cathie, and their families.

Mona Ellard

February 19, 2019

I met Mike for the first when he was a member of a panel of older extension staff. They were giving advice to newly hired Extension staff on how to be successful in the position.
Mike talked about how to be successful to reach retirement.
His advice I have used during my time teaching classes on preparing for retirement to local county citizens.
Mike told us you spend all your working careers developing a good reputation but some see retirement ahead and stop working as hard or just seem to glide to the retirement date. He cautioned not to let that happen. For it is last years people remember most and you have forfeited your good reputation.
Sound advice and good common sense.
Mike was such a mentor and a good man.
Thanks for sharing him with us in Extension!

Mel Matchett

February 19, 2019

Mike was the ultimate MSU Extension Specialist and Extension Educator. He made a difference in the lives of farm families for decades across Michigan. He was talented, well respected, humble and always worked with the good of others in mind. It is an honor to have worked in the "field" with him and witness his humor and observe his love for and service to others....always.

Steve Hanson

February 18, 2019

Mike was passionate about doing work that would make a difference in the lives of other people. He was a dedicated professional and a caring colleague who could always put a smile on your face. My thoughts are with his family.


David Tschirley

February 18, 2019

I didn’t know Mike we’ll, but I experienced him as an avuncular presence in the department and sensed his reputation as a principled, committed, kind, and humorous person and professional. My best regards to Tim and all the rest of the family.