John Gurn Kelbaugh Jr., 88, of Frankford, Del., passed away on May 6, 2019, in his home with his loving daughters beside him until his last breath. He went onto his new home that God gloriously prepared for him to spend eternity with his Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. He was born May 13, 1930, in Pottstown, Pa., to Helen (Chenowith) Kelbaugh and John Kelbaugh Sr.
Kelbaugh’s family moved to Baltimore, Md., in 1940, and he entered the labor force at the ripe age of 11, delivering newspapers for the Baltimore Morning Sun newspaper and selling magazines to the same families. At 12, he added the position of a soda jerk at Loch Raven Drugstore to his résumé. If that wasn’t enough, on weekends he would caddy at the Hillendale and Mount Pleasant Golf courses of Maryland.
Kelbaugh entered the U.S. Navy in 1948 and was honorably discharged in 1952, having served on the DDR-830 Larson when Israel became a nation and the U.S.S. Midway during the Korean War.
Out of the Navy, Kelbaugh began doing concrete-work, including footings of houses, steps, porches and sidewalks, as well as building homes and the Joppa Gospel Tabernacle church, prior to doing the concrete work for his first high-rise building, the Belvedere Towers in Baltimore. He was a concrete sub-contractor until retirement and led an ambitious career spreading the word of his pride and joy, Concrete Deck Systems of America.
After he retired, he became co-owner of Towson Sedan Services until his early 80s, enjoying hours of driving customers to and fro.
Preceding Kelbaugh in death were his parents; his brothers, Mahlon and Timothy; sister, Dorothy (Kelbaugh) Hanth; and the love of his life since 1958, his wife of 59 years, Dorothy (Wilt) Kelbaugh.
He leaves behind his two daughters, Lynda LaPine and her husband, Richard, of Superior, Wis., and Lori Marshall of Frankford, Del.; four grandchildren, Jana LaPine of Superior, Wis., James LaPine and his wife, Pilar, of Duluth, Minn., Brittany (Marshall) Baig and her husband, Kamal, of Washington, D.C., and Jordan Marshall of Fort Polk, La.; two great-grandchildren, Kinley and Yanik LaPine, and another arriving in July; a brother, Charles Kelbaugh and his wife, Juanita, of Bel Air, Md.; 31 nieces and nephews; and his cousin George Kelbaugh of York, Pa.
Kelbaugh wanted all to know that nothing was more important than to know the Lord and that his grandkids and great-grandkids are wonderful people.
A graveside service will be held Friday, June 14, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 East Padonia Road, Timonium, Md. Cars will be lining up at the swan hut inside the cemetery gate and then proceed together to the gravesite. A lunch will be held after the service, at Joppa Gospel Tabernacle Church, 1911 E. Joppa Road, Baltimore, Md. Arrangements were by Bennie Smith Funeral Home in Millsboro, Del., through which condolences may be sent online at www.benniesmithfuneralhome.com.