Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Michael Alexander
Deacon Donald Kelsey is pictured in this 2008 file photo at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where he served as a chaplain.


Deacon Donald Kelsey, longtime airport chaplain, dies March 11

Published March 31, 2021

SUWANEE—Deacon Donald A. Kelsey, of Suwanee, died March 11. He was 88 years old.

A retired deacon, he was a member of St. Benedict Church and of the Knights of Columbus.

He was ordained a permanent deacon for the archdiocese in 1990. He served at Holy Trinity Church, Peachtree City, and St. Mary Magdalene Church, Newnan.

He was a United States Navy veteran, retired from the Federal Aviation Administration and served as an airport chaplain for 27 years at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He provided prayers and much comfort on Sept. 11, 2001 to travelers stranded by the terrorist attacks.

Preceded in death by his son, Kevin Kelsey, he is survived by his wife, Camille Kelsey of Suwanee, son Keith Kelsey of Winchester, Virginia; daughter Chris Kelsey of Newnan; son and daughter-in-law Kent and Lisa Kelsey of Buford; daughter Corrine Thomas of Lake in the Hills, Illinois; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass was March 19 at St. Benedict Church in Johns Creek with Father Paul Flood serving as celebrant. Burial will follow at a later date at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.