Fred Kelm


Fred Curtis Kelm, 74, of Bemidji, MN died Friday, April 29, 2022 at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in Bemidji, MN.

Memorial services will be held at 2:00pm, Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at the First Baptist Church in Bemidji, MN. A Visitation will be held from 5-7pm, Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji.

Fred Curtis Kelm was born October 31, 1947, in Bemidji, MN to Jack and Wilma Kelm as the second of 10 children. He attended Bemidji High School until he enlisted in the Army in December of 1966. He served 3 years; 18 months of that were spent in Vietnam where he served as a construction engineer. He was responsible for strategic bridge demolition and helped build the QL-15, the main road through Vietnam. He was honorably discharged August 1969 with the rank of Sargent E5. After returning from Vietnam, he married Peggy Lou Petron on June 19, 1971. Two years later their only son, Chad was born. Fred and Peggy later served as foster parents and were influential in the lives of many children over the course of their lives. Fred was a true mentor. Children and adults alike looked up to him and loved him. He was a hard worker throughout his life and he set an example for all who knew him. In his career he worked road construction, raised beef cattle, he was a self-employed logger and owned and operated Fred Kelm Dirt Service for many years. Fred and Peggy recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. Fred was a family man and he loved any opportunity to be with his kids and grandkids. He had special relationships with them both. He was their hero. His most recent vacation was a three generation trip to Alaska in 2020 with his son and grandson.

He was close to his surrogate kids and grandkids too, and looked forward to large family gatherings, sporting events, days at the cabin, doing projects together, and working on his farm. He is survived by his wife, Peggy; his son, Chad(Kami) Kelm; grandchildren, Kali Kelm (Riley Spear), Carson Kelm; Siblings, Judy(Curt) Black; Bill (Connie)Kelm; Karen Thoring (Larry Schmidt); Marian (Ron) Vold; Willard Kelm; Vicki (Mike) Schmerbeck; Joy Kelm; Gary (Trudy)Kelm; Jim Kelm; and surrogate grandkids Austin (Karissa) Spencer, Kole Spencer (Shelly Johnson); Kiana Spencer; and extended family members Marlys Hanson, Patrick (Jodi) Spencer as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews neighbors and close friends. Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Wilma Kelm, his brother, Dan Kelm; brother-in-law, Robert Thoring and sister-in-law, Debbie Kelm.

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