Arthur Ferdinand Kelting was born near Downer, Minnesota on January 27, 1917. He was first named William Henry after the Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. When the United States declared war on Germany during April of 1917, the German community marched to the house and demanded the family change the name or they would place a yellow ribbon around the house to isolate them. Although his name was changed, the family forgot to change the name on his birth certificate. It wasn't until he tried to enter the Army Air Corps and needed his birth certificate did his mother realize they had not officially changed his name.
The Kelting family moved to Webster City in 1924 where Art was educated and graduated with the class of 1936. Growing up in Webster City during the Great Depression, he worked at Dermand's Caf, delivered papers and shined shoes for Nick Dermand. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and became a B-17 bomber pilot stationed in England and Italy. After his discharge, he married Darlene Delores Johnson on April 22, 1946. He worked for Allied Mills and purchased Middleton Produce in 1954 from Lee and Georgia Middleton. Later he worked at Kautzky's Sporting Goods store and then became part owner of Sports World with Ted Williams.
Art is survived by his wife and three daughters, Kandace (Curtis) Martin of Webster City, Artace (Dennis) Stone of Madison, WI and An'Nyce (Keith) Hoff of Gilbert, nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren; sister, Jeannette Costelow of Norwalk, CA and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto Ferdinand Kelting and Elizabeth Mary (Kluck) Kelting; brothers Laurence, Alfred and Kenneth; sisters Pearl, Florence, Evelyn, Irene and Adeline.
Art was a longtime member of the American Legion Post 191, former mayor (1970 and 1975) and city councilman (eight years), Middle School Building Community committee, CFM group and Mayor of Seneca Street. He was a former state golf champion and three time golf medal winner at the Iowa Games. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, dancing, attending sporting events (especially grandchildren's games), playing cards and his farm. He participated in the first Honor Flight from Des Moines in 2008. He dearly loved his family, friends and country. He proudly sang the Army Air Corps song, "Off we go into the wild blue yonder flying high into the sky" We salute this member of the "greatest generation" as he takes off.
A Gathering will be held at Foster Funeral Home on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. with a reflection time at 7:00 p.m. A private burial will be held at a later date. Art Kelting died July 9, 2012 at the Israel Hospice House in Ames. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Webster City School Foundation, Opportunity Village or Van Diest Medical Center.
Write a personal tribute or light a virtual candle for the Kelting family at www.fosterfuneralandcremation.com