John Carl Kelm, age 71 of Montello passed away Monday, April 3, 2023 at his home surrounded by his family. John was born in Beaver Dam on August 7, 1951 to Wayne and Eleanor (Kranz) Kelm. He graduated from Fall River High School in 1970 and enlisted in the United States Air Force where he proudly served his country from 1970 until 1975 during the Vietnam War. John married Elaine (Brossard) Kranz on March 31, 1990 in Juneau. He worked at both the Fox Lake and Waupun Prisons, retiring in 2005. In retirement, he and Elaine owned and operated Shamrock Gardens in Astico. John was an avid outdoorsman, especially enjoying hunting and fishing. In the Spring of 2022, John had the privilege of participating in the Badger Honor Flight. He always looked forward to spending time with his family and will be remembered for taking his grandchildren for gator rides and cooking for everyone.
John leaves behind his wife of 33 years, Elaine and children: Jeff (Renee) Kelm of Rio, Tony (Alicia) Butzin of Traverse City, MI, Jeffrey (Cindy) Kranz of Beaver Dam, Sherri (Joel) Kranz of Pardeeville, Russell Kranz of New Holstein, Charlotte (Donald) Ehlers of Fall River, Sharlene (Christopher) Marty of Rocky River, OH and Andrew (Stacy) Kranz of Henryetta, OK. He is also survived by seventeen grandchildren: Alex, Kendra, Alana, Hannah, Danielle (Craig), Dillon, Michelle, Matthew, Marcus, Leah, David (Marby), Cassandra (Rob), Mitchell (Janean), Elliot, Emerson, Emma and Jahse as well as 15 great-grandchildren. John is further survived by siblings: Ruth Ladwig, David (Terri) Kelm, Donna (Claude) Chamberlin and Tony Kelm, sisters-in-law: Sue Kelm and Mary Kelm as well as other extended family members.
John is preceded in death by his parents, siblings: Margaret (John) Anderson, Charlie Kelm, James Kelm and Barbara Kelm and brother-in-law, Ken Ladwig.
A memorial service of John Kelm will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 17, 2023 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Montello. Visitation will be held from 9:30 until 10:45 AM at the church. Pastor Pete Zietlow will preside and full military honors by American Legion Post #351 of Montello together with the Fox Lake Correctional Institution Honor Guard will immediately follow the service. Private family inurnment will take place at Highland Memorial Gardens in Beaver Dam. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to Badger Honor Flight, P.O. Box 258066, Madison, WI 53725.
The family would like to Thank St. Croix Hospice for their care and compassion.