Date of Birth
Date of Death
Stephen E. Kelm, age 70 of St. Charles, IL, passed away on Friday, August 31, 2018. He was born June 29, 1948 in Joliet, IL.
Steve is survived by his wife of 46 years, Lennis (Myers) Kelm; his two children, David (Amber) Kelm of St. Charles and Jennifer (Carl) Kelm Sergio of Chicago; four grandchildren, Brooke, Ethan and Natalie Kelm and Vivienne Sergio; a sister, Pat Oâ€™Brien of Sycamore; several generations of nieces and nephews; and his devoted dog, Hank. He is preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Evelyn (Kroeger) Kelm; his brothers, Gary and John Kelm; his grandparents, Otto and Anna (Henry) Kelm and Wilhelm and Amanda (Ahrens) Kroeger; several aunts and uncles, and a nephew.
Raised in a farming family on Silver Glen Road in St. Charles, Steve learned early on to value early rising and the benefits of hard work. A 1966 graduate of St. Charles High School, Steve put himself through college and was the first in his family to graduate with a degree, a B.S. in Business Management with a focus in economics and personnel psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Beginning in 1973, Steve spent thirty-two years leading human resources at Burgess-Norton Mfg. Company in Geneva. He is remembered fondly by generations of B-N employees for leading with empathy, fairness and recognizing the value in each individual. He hosted many years of summer company picnics, dinner dances and Old Timers parties. Steve was also committed to community development, serving as a founding board member of the Geneva Academic Foundation, chairman of the Junior Achievement Chicago Western Division, Business Advisor to Delnor Community Hospital and a board member of the Community Chest.
Steve happily retired in 2005 and began spending much of the year in Naples and later, Estero, Florida. He and Lennis spent many great years there, making new friends and sharing their home in Wildcat Run. In the last few years, the lure of grandchildren, one of the great joys of Steveâ€™s life, proved greater than the pull of the Florida sun, and Steve and Lennis relocated permanently to St. Charles. Despite a year of many health challenges, Steve was thrilled to meet the youngest, born in February of this year, and was awaiting the arrival of his fifth grandchild in November.
Steve remained a role model to his family through the very end, by setting goals (reaching his 70th birthday in June), maintaining his good humor and positive outlook, and never hesitating to tell them how much he loved them.
A funeral service to honor his life will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at 11 a.m., at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Interment will follow at Garfield Cemetery.
Following a diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2005, Steve fought a long battle over the ensuing thirteen years. Along the way, he made tremendous friends through treatment, five of whom were dubbed “The Brotherhood” and provided substantial support to one another and their spouses. Donations can be made in Steveâ€™s memory to the Prostate Cancer Foundation at https://join.manyvscancer.org/memorial/in-memory-of-steve-kelm.
A funeral service to honor his life will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at 11 a.m., at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn.
Interment will follow at Garfield Cemetery.