Mary Louise Chelf

Mary Louise Chelf

September 4, 1927 – March 30, 2020


Mary Louise Chelf was born on September 4, 1927, to Clifford D. Taylor and Florence Brown Taylor of Harveyville, Kansas.  Mary would remain in Harveyville for the next 18 years, graduating from the local high school and eventually meeting Ken Chelf, the man who would be her partner in life for the next 62 years.

On January 27, 1946, shortly after Ken had returned from serving in World War II, they were married in Topeka, Kansas, which would be their home for the next 12 years.  During this time, Ken and Mary had two sons — Steven and Kris.  In 1958, the family moved to Omaha, the place Mary would call home for the rest of her life.

Mary loved to travel, and when she and Ken became empty nesters, they set out to see the world.  Mary especially loved Norway and New Zealand, but her favorite destination was undoubtedly Kauai.  The two made multiple trips to the island and were in the process of planning their next visit when Ken was diagnosed with cancer in 2007.

After Ken’s passing in 2008, Mary remained in the house they had shared, taking care of all the household duties now.  Despite the additional burden, the house remained immaculate inside and out.  It was only within the past year that Mary finally allowed someone else in to help clean the house.

Mary also continued hosting the family for holiday dinners.  She loved Christmastime, and every year her living room would be aglow from the miniature Christmas village and other decorations she set up.  In the warmer months, she tended to the multitude of flowers she planted every spring.

A big part of Mary’s life was the fellowship she enjoyed as a member of First Christian Church in Omaha.  She treasured the life-long friendships she made there, and she will be missed by those and other friends and family who knew her as the kind, generous and selfless person she was.

Preceded in death by husband, Kenneth.  Survived by sons, Steven W. Chelf (Mary Jo) and Kris A. Chelf (Rita); grandchildren; and great grandchildren.

Family FUNERAL SERVICE: Saturday, April 4th, 1pm, at the West Center Chapel.  INTERMENT: Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to First Christian Church.

To view a live broadcast of the Funeral Service, go to our website and click the View Live Cast button on our homepage or click on service link below.

View Service Link:





  • Craig Peshek Posted March 31, 2020 8:12 am

    My Condolences to the Chelf family.

  • Veronica and Tom Barry Posted March 31, 2020 1:43 pm

    We are feeling sad , but blessed to have had such a wonderful friend and nextdoor neighbor. God got a special angel. .Our condolences to your family. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

  • Craig Larson Posted April 1, 2020 12:25 am

    I’m glad I got to meet your folks, Kris. All your fraternity brothers are thinking and praying for you during this difficult time.

  • Kathy Ponec Posted April 1, 2020 9:29 am

    My condolence to your family.

  • June and Todd Porter Posted April 1, 2020 12:53 pm

    We’re so very sorry to hear about your loss. You are certainly in our thoughts.

  • Lois Arnold Posted April 1, 2020 3:41 pm

    So, sorry to hear this. I am so glad I talked to her last week. She was a dear friend and I will surely miss her. I will be sending a memorial to the church.

  • Brian, Deana, and Tristan Rainey Posted April 2, 2020 2:40 am

    Some people become family with no ties by blood. Mary was a “grandma” to our son for almost 10 years, a blessing to our family in indescribable ways, and the most precious gift we ever had in our lives. We are heartbroken to lose her, but our lives were enriched by all her many kindnesses, countless hugs, and boundless love. God’s peace to her family as we grieve for her loss with you as an honored member of our own. We will keep her in our hearts forever and save her spot by us in church where we all sat together every week. Now she will be holding God’s hand instead of our own, and heaven will be warmer because she is there. We will all miss our dear grandma Mary!

  • Rex Barker Posted April 2, 2020 8:07 am

    Hey Kris – We are praying for you and your family. We wanted you to know we think a lot of you and know your mom was important to you. Godspeed.

  • Becky Zahller McNeil Posted April 2, 2020 3:32 pm

    Kris, When I returned to First Christian in Omaha I was taken by how much your beautiful mother reminded me of my own mother. I had not noticed that when they and we were young. Getting to be one of Mary’s pastors for the short time I was there, was a great joy to me. After services, she would clasp my hands and look me in the eyes and was so warm and loving. I know you will miss her very much. You are in my prayers.

  • Jim Mierendorf Posted April 4, 2020 1:07 am

    I’m very sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. I know both Mary and Ken were very close friends of my mother and father, and was one of Mom’s most endearing friends. My heartfelt condolences to your entire family.

  • Kelly Christensen Posted April 4, 2020 9:41 am

    Mary was such a lovely woman. So warm and kind. She will be greatly missed. I like to think of she and Ken reunited. My condolences to the Chelf family.

  • Pat and Sue McQuade Posted April 4, 2020 10:53 am

    We’re so sorry for your loss. Please know that your entire family is in our prayers. May you all find comfort in your memories of her. Peace and stay safe.

  • Brenda Wajda Posted April 4, 2020 11:55 am

    Kris and Steve, your mother was a dear lady! I always enjoyed her company. We are able to stream the service on our TV, so mom and I can watch the service! Mom, Lois Arnold, will surely miss visiting with her.

  • Susan Jackson Posted April 10, 2020 2:01 pm

    We just watched the funeral video. It was a very nice service. Thanks for contacting us.

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