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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Bland O’Neil Kelems Sr.

Bland O’Neil Kelems Sr., age 65, of Cove, Arkansas passed away on Monday, July 5, 2021, in Pleasant Hills, North Carolina. He was born on Tuesday, May 1, 1956, to Earnest Kelems and Betty Stephens Kelems in Monette, Arkansas.

Bland was married to the love of his life, Sandy. His family was the center of his world and becoming a grandfather was considered to be one of his greatest accomplishments in life. Throughout life Bland would tell others he dreamed of becoming a truck driver. He made that dream come true when he obtained his CDL and became an over the road truck driver for KLLM Trucking. In Bland’s younger years he raced muscle cars and loved his ‘68 Dodge Charger. Bland enjoyed music of all sorts but especially oldies, classic rock, and anything sung by Conway Twitty or Elvis Presley. In his free time Bland enjoyed playing vintage arcade style games like Pac-Man and Mario Bros. and riding his Goldwing. He had a love of stories, both written and told. His favorite author was Edgar Rice Burroughs and he enjoyed the “John Carter” books the most. He loved to see smiles and hear laughter, sharing his favorite corny jokes. Bland was a loving husband, son, father, brother, papa, uncle and friend and will be missed by all who knew him.

He is preceded in death by his father, Earnest Kelems; his mother, Betty Stephens Kelems; one brother, Dane Kelems; one sister, Carol Lynch; one sister-in-law, Carolyn Burkett; one brother-in-law, Lalo Herrera; and one nephew Jerry Shouse.

Bland is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Sandy Kelems of Cove; three sons, Bland “Neil” Kelems Jr. of Cove, Tony Kelems and wife Linda Neer of Mena, and Steven Kelems and wife Brook of Mena; three daughters, Betty Kelems and husband Junior of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Susan Kelems of Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Tiffanie Cannon and husband Micah of Mena; one sister, Mary Penny Baker and husband Steve of Steamboat Springs, Colorado; two special brothers, Duane Isaacs of Cove and Chuck Burkett and wife Charity of Cove; three special nephews, Kevin Burkett and wife Jessica Burkett of Cove, Josh Shouse and wife Jesica Shouse of Cove, Donovan Shouse and wife Tatiana Shouse of Cove; ten grandchildren; two great grandchildren and another on the way; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins and a host of other relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, July 12, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at the Bowser Family Funeral Home Chapel in Mena, Arkansas with brother Brian Cross officiating. Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Bowser Family Funeral Home in Mena.

In lieu of flowers please make any donations to Sandy Kelems at Union bank of Mena.

Online Guestbook: www.bowserffh.com

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