DeVere, a classic “Utah” name



DeVere Kelsey


18 April 1940




Happy 72nd Birthday to my father… TODAY!!  He prefers to go by the name of De… but I revere DeVere, because of the choices he made in his life that had a huge impact on my life.  Dad was born in the middle of 9 children to a very poor family in Utah.  He and many of his siblings were able to break out of a legacy of alcohol that had kept their family in poverty.

The best choice my father made in his life was to marry my mother.  Despite opposition and/or lack of support from their own parents, my parents chose to marry for eternity.  Dad has told us that once he and mom were kissing a lot in his car.  They stopped suddenly and reminded each other that they wanted to marry in the temple.  So, they said a prayer together asking for help to remain worthy to marry in the temple.  Sounds like a small thing, but I believe this choice was a turning point in their future lives together.  My parents were married on 9 Dec 1960 in the Manti Temple.  I was born “in the covenant” the following November.

Dad told me once that he had wanted to get work with a railroad company.  His mother sent letters to family members asking for financial help to get him into this career, but no one responded.  Instead of giving up when this career didn’t work out, my father went on to join the national guard, work for the forest service, work as a police officer, own small businesses (i.e. upholstery, retail foods), and work as a truck driver.  Basically, my father worked hard in his life to provide for himself and his family.  Despite many setbacks in every career, he chose to keep trying and striving to succeed.  I have heard him say that “you have to do it yourself because no one is going to help you.”  That has been true for him in many ways… and yet, that hasn’t stopped him from helping others when they needed it.

For example, I remember one experience I had with my father as we sat peeling potatoes in the back room of the Fros-T-Freez.  My Uncle Ken, dad’s brother, arrived unexpectedly for a visit.  The purpose of his visit was to ask my dad to help pay for a mission.  My dad asked many questions about why Ken wanted to serve a mission, which Ken answered admirably although he was put on the spot.  I’ll never forget the Spirit I felt as I sat there peeling potatoes and listening to them talk.  I thought I would bust with pride when my dad said he would help Ken pay for a mission.  I believe this experience laid a foundation for my own choice to serve a mission several years later.

I love my dad and I love how enthused he gets about collecting things like coins/tokens as well as how creative he is with painting and wood-carving.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Graduates | The Life & Times of Lorrie J.

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