Mark David Kelsey

mark kelsey
PANTEGO -- Chief Mark David Kelsey, 65, passed away Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in Fort Worth. Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. Saturday at Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 2100 N. Davis Drive, Arlington. Interment: at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Wade Family Funeral Home, 4140 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Mark's name to Snowball Express or Freedom Angel Foundation. Mark was born Nov. 29, 1948, in Hartford, Conn., to Nathaniel Grant Kelsey and Grayce Harvey Kelsey. He served in the U.S. Army and Air Force. He received a master's degree in science. An Arlington resident since 1988, Mark was a member of Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. He retired from American Airlines as a supervisor in weight and balance planning in 2004. In 2006, he was mobilized on active duty with the Army where he served as a casualty notification/casualty assistance officer at Fort Hood until his retirement in July 2010. During Mark's 33-year career in the U.S. Army Reserves, he was honored with many awards and special recognition. In 2007, he was named as an honorable mention in the "Army Times" Soldier of the Year competition for his work in the casualty field. In 2008, Mark was presented with The Ancient Order of St. Christopher award for his distinguished career in the Transportation Corps. Gov. Rick Perry recognized Mark's work in 2009 with surviving family members in the North Texas area and commissioned him an admiral in the Texas Navy. Prior to joining the advisory board, Mark served on the Snowball Express board of directors as the volunteer coordinator. Mark served as a mediator with ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). He served as a director with Freedom Angel Foundation, a charity to support special needs of our returning veterans. He was a proud member of the Patriot Guard Riders of North Texas, worked on lowering his handicap at Rolling Hills Golf Club, was on the board of directors of the Eagle Mountain Classic Boat Club and served as the commander of the Chester W. Nimitz Squadron of the Texas Navy. Mark was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Pat. Survivors: Wife of 26 years, Michele; daughter, Molly; a host of relatives and friends; and his beloved Bichon, Kirby. Wade Family Funeral Home Arlington, 817-274-9233

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  1. I loved Mark like a brother – we had some of the best laughs that two guys can have. I will miss him greatly.

  2. We met Mark through the National Military Bereavement Study. He was one of the most caring and compassionate people we have ever met and we will deeply miss having him guide us along our path of grief.

    With Deepest Sympathy,
    Terry and Elisabeth Burgess
    Gold Star Parents of SSG Bryan A Burgess

  3. Michelle, please accept my condolences for your loss. These are tough times, I know too well, but call on your heavenly father for comfort and He will wrap you up in His arms …just as He is holding your husband. Pam

  4. I met the Chief through the Patriot Guard and I was proud to consider him a friend. In the early days, I was still a National Guardsman and I felt a special kinship with the Chief as fellow reservist. I was particularly impressed that when he wasn’t performing his official duties, he would take time to ride with us.

    As an senior NCO, I felt a special need to ensure our fallen and their families were well taken care of, and I was very proud and pleased that a man such as this was there for them. I simply don’t think it is possible to be more highly regarded than he is and I know that he was a comfort to a great many people.

    My sincere condolences to his family and please know that you will never cry alone.

    D.M. Brewster SMSgt(ret) Texas Air National Guard and a Fellow Patriot Guard Rider

  5. I met Chief Kelsey 1 January 2007 at 7:30am. It was 34 degrees in Frisco, TX. Chief was there to notify me that my son, CPL Rich Smith had been KIA in Baqubah, Iraq, the day before, 31 December 2006.

    Chief was my notification and my casualty assistance officer. I later learned from him that this was an unusual occurrence. I will never forget when I opened the door and he was standing there with a very young Frisco Fire Chaplain. The chaplain was in a T shirt, red and shaking from the cold. I have a good laugh about that freezing young man now. Chief stood at attention, I still remember his shiny shoes and all of the medals. He asked to come in and I asked him why? What was he doing at our house so early on New Year’s Day? I was oblivious, what else can you say about an event like that. Chief was a great guy and handled it like a pro. It could not have been easy for him either.

    It has been a very long healing process for my family, one that will never end, but one that was certainly started by Chief Kelsey and his professional, kind and caring conduct. I, as Gold Star Father, will never forget Chief Kelsey and will always be grateful for his service to my family and our country.

    James Smith
    Father of CPL Rich Smith – 112 Cav/3rd Brigade Support Battalion/1st Cavalry Division Ft. Hood Texas
    KIA 31 Dec 2006, Baqubah Iraq, OIF

  6. Your Life was Prized
    Mark and I served together in the Selective Service System for several years. I greatly prized his friendship and fervent support during those years of service. I admired Mark for many things, his ceaseless energy and enthusiasm for everything and everyone in his life. I remember that he enjoyed the rare and fine, particularly when he was restoring his wooden boat to its original glory and when he got his anniversary commemorative Harley Davidson. Mark was always thoughtful in his advice and guidance. All of the officers in our unit benefitted, at some time, from well-placed military and civilian career advice or directionals on how to accomplish a goal. He touched a great many lives, but his family came first. I can attest to the care he gave his ailing mother who was several states away. And to the love he had for Michele and Molly. They have been left with a great inheritance. I am grateful to Michele and Molly who were gracious enough to share him with us.

  7. Michele,

    I heard about the passing of your husband and I wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers in this difficult time.

    Cheryl Slagle

  8. I am so sorry to hear of Mark’s passing. I did not know him personally, but worked with him through Snowball Express to paint portraits of fallen soldiers. I was amazed at his capacity to help bereaved families. If his work is being carried on by Michele or anyone else, I would love to be able to continue on helping these families by painting portraits for them.

    In sympathy,
    Jill Pabich

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