Joan Harris Kelso died peacefully at her home on January 21, 2014, following a long illness. She was born to John Woods and Eugenia Davis Harris on November 2, 1924, in Charlottesville, Virginia. She was educated in the public schools of Galveston and later attended Rosemary Hall in Greenwich, Connecticut. Following graduation from Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio she enrolled at Newcomb College in New Orleans. On August 27, 1943, she married Alvin Newkirk Kelso, the son of Walter Arthur and Elizabeth Newkirk Kelso. A lifelong resident of Galveston, she enjoyed fishing, crabbing, and water skiing with her husband and children on Offats Bayou. In later years she enjoyed many winter and summer vacations spent with family and friends at her home in Colorado. In addition she became both a passionate opera lover and a huge sports fan who followed baseball, basketball, tennis, and football regularly on television.
She was preceded in death by her parents and in-laws; husband Alvin and daughter Elizabeth Newkirk (Betsy) Kelso; as well as sisters Anne Harris Miller and Florence Harris McDonald. She is survived by her two sons, John Woods Kelso and wife Maggie of Galveston, and Alvin Newkirk (Kirk) Kelso, Jr., and partner Patrick Messiant of New York City, as well as a sister, Eugenia Harris Campbell of Galveston. She is also survived by grandchildren John Woods Kelso, Jr., and wife Connie, Zachary Bruce Williams and wife Taylor, Scott Alvin Kelso, Wade Field Williams, Luke Taylor Kelso, and Joan Elizabeth Kelso. Other survivors include great-granddaughter Alyson Kate Kelso, former daughter-in-law Kate Murray Alexander, and numerous nieces and nephews. Those living in Texas are Eugenia (Jeannie) Campbell, Archibald R. Campbell III, John Campbell, Douglas Campbell, Walter A. (Butch) Kelso III, Judy Kelso, Mark Kelso, Rai Kelso Thompson, and Lawrence Kelso. Those living out of state are Alexandra Hutchins, Meredith Mercer, Donald Miller, Ian Miller, Marshall McDonald, Davis McDonald, and James McDonald.
The family would like to acknowledge the excellent care she received at both UTMB and TLC. They also wish to extend their sincere thanks to caregivers Marilyn James, Barbara Fontno, Joyce Groeneveld, Bobbie Ball, La Shonda Richardson, Demetra Williams, Latasha Scott Nelson, and Vanessa Wortham.
The family will receive friends at Malloy & Son Funeral home at 3028 Broadway on Thursday, January 23rd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church (22nd Street and Winnie) at 2 p. m. on Friday, January 24th.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to Trinity Episcopal Church or Trinity Episcopal School at 2216 Ball Avenue, Galveston, Texas 77550; the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UTMB, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77555-0565; or the charity of one’s choice.