John  Kelsey

Obituary of John Kelsey

John Lindabury Kelsey, 72, of Hayesville went to be with the Lord on Sunday, December 6, 2020. He was born February 22, 1948 in Denville, New Jersey to the late Dana and Florence Lindabury Kelsey.

John grew up next to Indian Lake in Denville, New Jersey where he enjoyed watersports and worked as a lifeguard. He was an accomplished athlete at Morris Knolls High School playing football and starring on the basketball team. He later earned a scholarship to play basketball at Hartwick College in New York. John graduated from the University of Georgia in 1970 with a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture.

He had a successful career for 38 years in the Atlanta area and designed some well-known landmarks. Most of his career was spent working with Zachary Henderson Architects in Roswell, Georgia but he also had his own business, Environmental Techniques, specializing in commercial and residential landscaping.

John had a passion for the outdoors, especially camping, hiking, and working in the yard gardening. He was a skilled woodworker making furniture and detailed birdhouses. He was the first one on the dance floor and could really move!

John married his loving wife, Debbie, in 1989 and lived in the Atlanta area until retiring to Hayesville. There he spent his time happily tending to their property and enjoying the mountain views. John was loved by all and known for his kind and compassionate heart, sense of humor, and caring personality.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by two sisters, Joyce Lusardi and Judith McCarter, and a brother, David Kelsey.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie Kelsey of Hayesville; two daughters Corinne Mitchell and husband, Aaron, of Marietta, Georgia, and Katie Heyd and husband, Jeff, of Parker, Colorado; former spouse, Pamela Kelsey, of Woodstock, Georgia; sister, Barbara Miller, of Mt. Arlington, New Jersey; step-children Dee Dee Ives and husband, Ted, of Acworth, Georgia and Chris McConnell and wife, Tracy, of Flowery Branch, Georgia; seven grandchildren, Justin, Ian, Nick, Gavin, Emily, Ansley, and Hall; and two great-grandchildren, Sophia and Zoey.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 pm on Friday, December 11, 2020 at the Chapel of Ivie Funeral Home, Hayesville with the Reverend Scott Sims officiating. Interment will be in Wood Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Aaron Mitchell, Jeff Heyd, Chris McConnell, Herbert Sherlin, Kyle Cody and Jeff Stamey. The family requests that those who attend wear a mask. The services will be live streamed on the Ivie Funeral Home Facebook page at


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