Curtis Kelsay III

Obituary of Curtis Gregory Kelsay III

Greg Kelsay November 8, 1958 – April 16, 2020 Greg Kelsay, born as Curtis Gregory Kelsay passed away in the spring of 2020. Greg was the first of 3 children born to Fern and Curtis Kelsay. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was pre-deceased by his father Curtis and is survived by his mother Fern, sister Ann Kelsay Layer (Bill), and brother Mark Kelsay (Tracy). Greg grew up in Cedar Rapids and during his high school years, learned how to play the saxophone and participated in the concert, marching and jazz bands. He also was a cross country runner in high school. He had a keen interest in how things worked but was unsure that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father who was trained as a mechanical engineer. Nevertheless, he began attending Iowa State University in 1977 and eventually decided that Mechanical Engineering was the best path for him. He was hired as an intern for Hewlett Packard in Boise, Idaho and spent the summer of 1980 as an intern there between his junior and senior years. HP was impressed by Greg’s abilities and offered him a full-time job upon graduation. Finding his initial assignment at HP stimulating but not challenging, Greg decided to apply his engineering skills to fulfill a childhood dream of building his own airplane. He purchased plans and materials for a 2-person airplane kit called a “Quickie” as it was supposed to be quick to build. It was powered by a modified Volkswagen engine, a detail that was to provide Greg with many engineering challenges. He began the project in the living room of his tiny rental apartment near HP, but soon found it necessary to purchase a home with a roomy garage to complete his airplane. It was not quick to build (he did have his full-time job and had his home custom built during that time) but he did finish by 1983 and had it into the air. It retained the name “Quickie”, provided Greg and friends many hours of enjoyment, and finally was retired to the Air and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon in 2009. Greg worked on various projects at HP over the years and was key in the development of HP’s first 2” hard disk drive. He went on to retire from HP in 2007 at age 48. Not long after beginning work at HP, Greg met and began a long-term relationship with Carmen Vega. Carmen was a young widow and still had two children living with her at home, Louie, and Cecilia. Over the years of their relationship, Greg became like a father to both of her children. As happens with many relationships, his relationship with Carmen ended. It was a very challenging time for Greg emotionally. Eventually, in 2011, Greg met and began dating Jackie Baer and their relationship blossomed into marriage in September of 2013. Jackie and Greg shared a love of travel and throughout their time together they honeymooned in Greece, went bicycling in Italy and France, and went tramping in New Zealand. They also visited Bali, Singapore, and the islands of Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. Greg’s retirement years were full of travel and physical activities, with mountain biking, skiing, and backpacking rising to the top of favorite near-Boise activities. He was generous with his time helping with the Bogus Basin Snow School and participating in the Boise Straight Ahead Jazz band of which all proceeds went to charity. He was a charter member of the Boise Straight Ahead band which was started at HP (with HP’s generous support) in 1996. Greg played alto saxophone and so enjoyed the experience he remarked once that it made working at HP so much better! He played regularly with the band for nearly 25 years. Greg is sorely missed by all of those that knew him. His inquisitive, analytical and friendship skills made him an individual you wanted to be around. He was the “glue” that held several groups he belonged to together. His mountain biking group would meet and ride at least once week during the Boise summers. And while not initiating the “dinner club” of close friends monthly, his presence was key to everyone’s enjoyment of the events. Greg, we all love and miss you! Celebration of Life will occur on October 15 at 1:00 pm at Janette & Wendell's home at 3404 N Private Lane, Meridian, ID. Zoom link sent out by request to

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Curtis Kelsay III, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Curtis
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Accent Funeral Home & Cremation
Share Your Memory of