Harold C. Kelshaw, Jr.

Harold Cross Kelshaw, Jr., 82, of Lake Monticello, passed away on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. Harold was born in Maplewood, New Jersey on May 15, 1938, the son of the late Harold Cross Kelshaw and Ruth Henrich Kelshaw.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara, and their two children, Lisbeth Kelshaw Fowler of McLean, Virginia and Todd Spencer Kelshaw of Bernardsville, New Jersey. His special friends were his grandchildren, Deirdre Donovan Kelshaw, Lilly Catherine Fowler and Ryan Sanborn Fowler. He was a father-in-law to Stephen T. Fowler and Martha A. Kelshaw and step-grandfather to Rory E. Raabe. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his twin sisters, Jean K. Hodgson and Karen K. Hoffman.

Harold was a corporate communications executive. In 2002, he retired from the Guardian Life Insurance Company in New York City, where he had been Director of Corporate Communications. He received degrees in economics and English from Bucknell University, where he was a member of Phi Lamda Theta fraternity. He later earned the Chartered Life Underwriter designation from the American College of Life Underwriters. Harold was a wordsmith who particularly enjoyed writing speeches, advertising copy and magazine articles. He was a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Life Communicators Association from which he received numerous national awards.

Harold enjoyed serving his community. He was a two-term Chairman of the Board of the Community Health Law Project, a New Jersey legal advocacy organization providing assistance to people with disabilities. He was a Conflict Resolution Mediator for the New Jersey State Judiciary and a member of its Juvenile Conference Committee, an organization dedicated to helping juveniles stay out of the court system. He served in the Air Force and was an Information Officer for the 108th Tactical Fighter Wing in the New Jersey Air National Guard, serving with the unit during its deployment to Europe for the Berlin Crisis.

After living in Basking Ridge, New Jersey for more than 30 years, Harold and Barbara moved to the Lake Monticello section of Palmyra in 2003. In addition to playing tennis and bridge, he sang with a number of choral groups, including the Oratorio Society of Virginia and the Berkshire Choral Festival. He especially enjoyed singing with the Palmyra United Methodist Church Choir and performing in nursing homes and in other community venues with the Choraleers of Lake Monticello.

Harold was a Public Affairs Staff Officer for Lake Monticello’s U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla and, in subsequent years, an officer of its Water Safety Patrol. He also served on its Communications and Marketing Committee and volunteered for the Fluvanna County Board of Elections.

His hobbies included model railroading and the study of mystery writers. He also maintained an extensive collection of old-time radio broadcasts. Harold was a diehard New York Rangers fan and a 60-year member of the Bucknell Bison Club, which supports the university’s athletic teams. He never stopped hoping for a winning BU football season.

Harold’s family extends its sincere thanks to Dr. Todd Bauer of the University of Virginia Medical Center and to the STICU team that cared for him with great warmth and compassion.

A celebration of life service will be conducted at a later date at Palmyra United Methodist Church.

Memorial donations can be made in Harold’s name to the PUMC Music Fund at P.O. Box 151, Palmyra, VA  22963 or the Bucknell Bison Club at Bucknell University, 301 Market Street. Suite 2, Lewisburg, PA  17837 (online address: give.bucknell.edu/adf).

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Thacker Brothers Palmyra Funeral Home.

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