Stephen Lee Kelsey

Stephen Kelsey

    Dr. Stephen Lee Kelsey, 73, passed into the eternal love of God on Monday, June 11, 2018 from injuries sustained in a car collision in Kemah, Texas.

    Stephen was born at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston to Landon McKee Kelsey, Jr. and Mildred Inez (Barger) Kelsey on February 12, 1945. He attended La Marque High School and graduated with the class of 1963. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1967 from Stephen F. Austin University and later attended the University of Houston College of Optometry where he graduated in 1972. 

    As an optometrist, Dr. Kelsey proudly served patients in private practice at Brazosport Optical and later throughout Galveston, Brazoria, and Harris counties for 46 years. Stephen took great joy in his profession and often said he got more from helping people than what he gave them.

    Stephen’s interests and curiosity were boundless. He had a lifelong fascination and respect for Abraham Lincoln, who shared his birth date. He was a captain, fisherman, poet, comedian and lover of the sea who often remarked that he felt “seasick on land.” He brought a buoyancy of spirit and humor to his interactions.

    He was a loving father and grandfather and is survived by his daughter, Stephanie (Kelsey) Kemmerling; son-in-law, Andrew Kemmerling; two young granddaughters, Rosalyn and Eliza Kemmerling; his brother Landon McKee Kelsey, III; sister and best friend Christine (Kelsey) Haddock of Dallas. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Mark Kelsey.

    A celebration of Stephen’s life will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Carnes Funeral Home in Texas City with burial to follow at the Galveston Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the animal rescue organization, Mission for Paws at the donate tab of

The Ship of Life

by John T. Baker

Along the shore I spy a ship as he sets out to sea;

He spreads his sails and sniffs the breeze

And slips away from me.

I watch his fading image shrink,

As he moves on and on, Until at last he’s but a speck,

Then someone says, “He’s gone.”

Gone where? Gone only from our sight

And from our farewell cries;

That ship will somewhere reappear to other eager eyes.

Beyond the dim horizon’s rim, resound the welcome drums,

And while we’re crying, There he goes!

They’re shouting, Here he comes!

We’re built to cruise for but a while

Upon the trackless sea

Until one day we sail away into infinity.