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Gwendolyn “Gwen” May Doorenbos, formerly Gwen Kelsey, peacefully passed away on September 14, 2023, in Annandale, Minnesota, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on December 30, 1926, in Parsons, Kansas, to Arthur and Myrtle (Bruch) Laymon. Gwen was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend whose memory will forever shine in our hearts.

She married the love of her life, Donald Kelsey in 1943, and they shared a journey together until his passing in 1976. In 1979, Gwen found love once again and remarried, this time to David Doorenbos, creating a new chapter of happiness in her life.

Gwen was a dedicated employee at Litton Microwave, where she diligently served until her retirement in 1979. However, Gwen’s true calling was that of a homemaker. She was a natural provider, showering her family with love, care, and warmth. Her kitchen was always filled with homemade meals and baked goods; her cooking was a source of comfort and joy for her loved ones.

Gwen possessed a multitude of talents. She was a skilled seamstress, excelling in sewing, cross stitch, and embroidery. During the holiday seasons, she lovingly crafted homemade Christmas gifts to give to her family and friends.

Her heart was as gentle as her hands were skillful. Gwen’s caring nature extended beyond her immediate family; she was a beloved Sunday school teacher, impacting the lives of many children who regarded her as a second mom or grandma. Her kindness and sweet disposition were evident to all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Gwen’s smile was infectious, and her genuineness was a beacon of light. She possessed a rare and beautiful quality—a pure, kind soul that touched everyone she met. Her legacy will forever be one of love, warmth, and unwavering kindness.

She is preceded in death by her husbands, Donald and David; sons, Duane and Larry Kelsey; one grandson; parents, Arthur and Myrtle Laymon; infant brother; infant sister; and sisters-in-law, Marion Kelsey Johnson and Grace Benedict.

Gwen is survived by her children, Gloria “Lori” Steel (Robert, “Bob”) of Annandale, MN, DeeDee Kelsey of Clearwater, MN, and Tim (Jodi) Kelsey of Big Lake, MN; step-son, Robert “Bob” Schut (Shirley) of Oconto, WI; sister-in-law, Marcy Kelsey; and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held Thursday, September 21, 2023 at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN (119 Central Ave) from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Funeral service will be held Friday, September 22, 2023 at 11:00 AM with visitation one hour prior at Heartland Evangelical Free Church (10252 Hwy 55, Annandale, MN). Interment will take place at Elmwood Cemetery in Rockford, MN.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo. Online condolences for the family may be directed to


4 Guestbook Entries

  1. Mary Jo Pribyl

    Lori and Robert. You have my deepest sympathies.. Gwen was so loveable and so loved. She will be missed by so many. I am very blessed that I got to know and care and love her. Gwen had the best smile and saw good in everyone. She will be forever in my heart. God bless her and be forever greatful for such a sweet lady. Love Mary Jo

  2. Jozie Broda

    Gwen touched my heart and was special to me in numerous ways. She was such a sweet soul and I enjoyed my visits with her. My thoughts and condolences are with your family. God bless you all.

  3. Shelly and Shawn Breese

    We love you grandma

  4. Ruth Rempel

    Was saddened to hear of Gwen’s passing. She was such a sweet lady. I’m blessed to have known her even if only a little. My sympathy to her family. Don’t be too sad as you will see her again if you know Jesus. May he comfort you all.


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