Robert M. Kelso

October 13, 1947 - February 6, 2013
Robert M. Kelso

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Robert M. Kelso of Leicester died February 6, 2013 after a brief illness. A native of Kearny, NJ, he was born October 13, 1947. His parents, the late Robert Dunlop and Agnes Balnave Kelso, were natives of Scotland.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Fort Stewart, GA. It was during this time that he discovered the Asheville area and settled here in 1968. After graduating from UNCA with a degree in Sociology, he formed Kelso Graphics. He later established Kelso Associates Ltd., Advertising and Design.

In 2010 he sold the company and retired. He continued to pursue his hobby as a building contractor and built many homes in the Western North Carolina area which are considered to be architectural masterpieces.

Mr. Kelso was a loving and committed husband to Marcia Mills-Kelso for 30 years. He is also survived by two brothers, Donald Drummond Kelso and his wife Diane of Deltona, FL and Craig Balnave Kelso of Seattle, WA. He will be missed tremendously by his family and many friends.

There will be a private gathering at a later date officiated by Rev. Ernest L. Mills, Jr. of the Unitarian Universalists of Transylvania County.

Memorials may be made in the name of Robert M. Kelso to the Goat Barn at the Carl Sandburg Home, 81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, NC 28731 or to the humane society of oneís choice.

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  • February 12, 2013
    Lynne Harlan says:
    I worked with Bob on several projects and considered him a valued colleague and wonderul friend. I share your grief during this time.

  • February 12, 2013
    TS says:
    My condolences to the Kelso Family. May you all find comfort during this painful time. To loose a loved one brings us great sorrow to our hearts. Please know that God cares and he promises to resurrect our dear loved ones sleeping in death John 5:28,29- those in their memorial tombs will hear the voice of his son Jesus and come out; Acts 24:15- there is going to be a resurrection of both righteous and unrighteous. They will be resurrected back to life on a paradise earth where death will be no more. Revelation 21:4- death will be no more; Isaiah 25:8-Jehovah God will swallow up death forever. Please find these scriptures comforting and draw close to God and he will draw close to you. James 4:8. Please read these scripture along with your personal copies of the bible and for more information on the hope for those we have lost in death go to

  • February 12, 2013
    Charles Milstead says:
    The exact dates escape me but over 20 years ago I was unemployed when a photographer friend mentioned there might be a job opening at Kelso Associates Advertising. The art director had left and Bob needed someone to fill in for a few weeks while he considered his next move. He agreed to hire me for a trial period ñ and I ended up staying there for six years. It's a rare thing when your boss turns out to be a good friend but such was the case with Bob. The group of people that he managed during my time with the company was much more like a family than just business associates. I learned most of what I know about advertising from Bob and he made me feel like a very important part of the business. And when I made mistakes, he would always look for a solution to the problem rather than assigning blame. In short, it was a privilege to work for this wonderful guy. Even though I've been gone from Asheville for some time, I always tried to stop by and see him when I went back ñ and he always took the time to visit with me and talk about days gone by. My deepest sympathy to his lovely wife, Marcia, and the rest of Bob's family. He was without doubt one-of-a-kind and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have worked alongside him. Like Elvis and Frank, Bob did it HIS way ñ and that's something I'll always remember. Rest easy, my friend.

  • February 12, 2013
    Karen Harris Shaw says:
    Kelso was the 'star' in one of my favorite stories from our days at UNC-A. The few times I saw him over the years, he remained just the same. I hope his wife, family and friends find solace in their many happy memories.

  • February 13, 2013
    Jake and Pat Lowe says:
    I worked with Bob for several years as our advertising agency when I ran An-Ton Chevrolet in Canton. I always found Bob to be pleasure to work with and considered him to be more than just a vendor. He was a true friend that I that sincernly enjoyed being around, luived his sense og humor. He will be missed by both Pat and I. May his soul rest in peace.