Merrill O. Kelsay

Merrill O. Kelsay


Merrill O. Kelsay, 67, lifelong resident of Whiteland, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in Greenwood.

He was born Dec. 16, 1948, in Franklin, to Joseph R. and Ruth (Sefton) Kelsay.

He married Debi L. (Doub) Kelsay on April 6, 1985, at Greenwood Christian Church.

He was a 1967 graduate of Whiteland Community High School, where he was a member of the Future Farmers America Chapter and served as FFA state vice president from 1967 to 1968. He attended Purdue University.

He was a lifelong farmer and businessman in Whiteland. Over the years, he and his family owned grain elevators, a fertilizer distribution, a swine operation, and currently a seventh-generation dairy in Johnson County.

In 1970, he was the FFA Star Farmer of America and received the Distinguished Hoosier Award. He received the Sagamore of the Wabash on Jan. 9, 2005 from Gov. Joseph Kernan.

He was on the board of directors for the Greenwood Cemetery and Greenwood Village South, served on the Johnson County Drainage Board and Johnson County Planning and Zoning Board, was a founding board member of the Indiana Dairy Producers and served on the American Dairy Association of Indiana.

He was a member of the Jubilee Masonic Lodge No. 746 F&AM, and a 50-plus year member of Whiteland United Methodist Church. He was past president of the Whiteland Alumni Association.

Survivors include his wife, Debi L. (Doub) Kelsay of Whiteland; his mother, Ruth (Sefton) Kelsay of Whiteland; children, Joseph M. Kelsay (Amy) of Franklin, Russell O. Kelsay (Liz) of Whiteland, Brittany L. Satkoski (Chris) of San Jose, California, James M. Osborne (Alicia) of Franklin; grandchildren, Jenna Kelsay, Josie Kelsay, Jack Kelsay, Rhett Kelsay, Grant Kelsay and Grayson Osborne; father-in-law, James Doub of Whiteland; and several cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph R. Kelsay in October of 2002.

The Rev. Perry Anderson will conduct a service at 10 a.m. Saturday at Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, 300 U.S. 31 South (Morton Street) in Franklin. Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday at the mortuary. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Johnson County Community Foundation, attention Merrill Kelsay Memorial for FFA sponsorships, P.O. Box 217, 398 S. Main St., Franklin, IN 46131.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Information: 317-738-0202

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