Obit: Kell, John D. (1951 – 2005)
Contributed to the Clark Co., WI History Buffs by Anonymous

Surnames: Kell, Kuntz, Haydon, Gunderson, Pirazzini

----Source: Ashland Daily Press (Ashland, Ashland County, Wis.) Monday, 8 Aug. 2005

Kell, John D. (25 Feb. 1951 – 5 Aug. 2005)

John D. Kell, 54, of Eau Claire died Friday, August 5, 2005 in Rice Lake as the result of an accident.

John was born February 25, 1951 in Eau Claire to Careybelle (Kuntz) and Paul Kell. He graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in 1969. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, earning a business degree in 1974.

He married Betsy Haydon in Eau Claire on December 6, 1975. They have resided in Eau Claire since their marriage. John started working for his father’s company, Kell Container in Chippewa Falls in 1974 and later became the CEO. In 2004, after Kell Container was sold to the Great Northern Corporation, John acted as President of Kell Container, a Division of the Great Northern Corp.

John believed in giving back to his community and donated time and energy to many organizations and groups. He served as secretary for the UW-EC Foundation; president of the Eau Claire YMCA board of directors; a member of the Big Brother/Big Sister board of directors; a member of First Congregational Church, Eau Claire and its board of directors; a Blugold mentor; and a member of The Executive Committee (TEC); and in 2004, was the recipient of the UWEC President’s Award.

John loved his family, his friends, Kell Container, his community, his lake, Wisconsin and the Packers. He was an avid outdoorsmen and a booster of local and community athletics.

Survivors include his wife Betsy; two daughters, Sadie Jane (Scott Gunderson) Kell, Angela Vesta Kell, all of Eau Claire; mother, Careybelle Kell of Chippewa Falls; three brothers, Mike (Pat) Kell of Stone Lake, Charlie (Pat) Kell of Menomonie, Tom (Pam) Kell of Chippewa Falls; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his father, Paul E. Kell.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, August 9, at First Congregational Church, Eau Claire with the Rev. Mark Pirazzini officiating. Private family interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery, Chippewa Falls.

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Monday, August 8 at Fuller-Speckien Funeral Home in Eau Claire and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be designated to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation P.O. Box 4004, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004.

Please send condolences to John’s family online at

Fuller-Speckien Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.




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