Who Was W.C. Kelsey?

W.C. Kelsey

Willard C. Kelsey was my grandfather.

He was an extraordinary man of multiple talents who deeply influenced everyone who knew him. Especially my brothers and me. He was not an educated man, never getting past the 6th grade. But for what he lacked in education he made up for with creativity, ingenuity, and tenacity. He brought new insight and ideas to everything he did, albeit sometimes somewhat unusual and certainly unconventional insights. Still, his methods and the results he would often get got peoples attention and respect.

He was also a difficult man to work with, with a stubbornness and opinionated attitude that would be downright infuriating. I know, as we had our share of drop down, drag out arguments over the years. But, I can honestly say that it is because of him that I (and all of my brothers) have managed to achieve what we have. He taught us not facts, but how to think creatively. How to do things. And the value of independence and self-reliance. We all owe him a great deal.

Grandpa died 10 years ago this past year and while his spirit lives on within all of his children and grandchildren I have become increasingly concerned with our own eroding memories of what he achieved during his lifetime. How little our children and grandchildren really know about him and the major influence that he has had and continues to have over all of our lives.

Many of this generation only know him as a frail, weakened old man, and not the vital, driven person that he was until a series of strokes began to rob him of his vitality. Many are not aware of the vast number of things he achieved during his lifetime. His inventions, ideas, and accomplishments, all gradually being eroded by time. Even his proudest achievement- Deltasia Park, bulldozed out of existence.

I have only a smattering of photographs, videos and old 16mm film that I will scan and restore as time permits. As I get things finished I will post them to this blog and of course welcome comments, input and insight from anyone. At the bottom of every post is a box that you can use to post your own comments.

Needless to say, there are lots of gaps and inconsistencies in the information and material that I have, so while I will post my own comments with the pictures and videos that, everyone is encouraged to post additional information and corrections.

If anyone has pictures, audio tapes, film, video or newspaper clippings that should be included in this blog, please let me know! I would be very pleased to get this material so that I can scan and restore it so that it can be published and shared with everyone. I can be reached by email at ron@warris.com.

If you would like to participate in posting complete entries to this blog (as opposed to just commenting on the entries I post), please let me know as I can setup posting accounts that will allow others to participate in creating this blog.

It is my hope that perhaps this blog will help preserve and present just a tiny bit of what my grandfather accomplished during his life, giving this and future generations some idea of who Willard C. Kelsey really was.

Ron Warris

Posted by: Ron Warris | 12-03-2005 | 10:12 PM


  1. Hi Ron:
    I was talking on the phone to Bill Kelsey, Willard’s son, this afternoon and he mentioned that you have this site. I think this is a great tribute to uncle Willard. My father was Stanley, a brother to Willard. Bill was down at our place for a visit this fall and that was the first time I had met Bill. I did meet uncle Willard a few times over the years, but I was never in Delhi while he lived there. The last time I saw him was at the family reunion in Lansdowne, Ontario in about 1990 or so.
    I hope we can get to know each other through this site.

    Comment by Garry Kelsey — January 14, 2006 @ 3:26 pm
  2. I Am From Delhi And For 42 Years Of My Life Its The First Time I Ever Seen The Deltasia Park And Its Beautiful Wish It Was Still There……………

    Comment by mark nettling — February 4, 2012 @ 10:33 pm
  3. You take me back to many memorable times with Willard & Bess & family. I spent alot of time with them and worked for him for a while. Fine family, Bill jr & I were very close, travelling together. I was trying to reach him last month but could not locate him. Best regards.Geo.

    Comment by George Laevens — September 1, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

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