Bette Kelinson Obituary

Bette  Kelinson
Bette J. Kelinson
Bette Kelinson

September 22, 1925 - April 10, 2015
Born in Chicago, IL
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Bette Jane Kelinson passed away April 10, 2015, at Edgewater in West Des Moines, where she resided the past several years.

She was born September 22, 1925, in Chicago, the daughter of Anna and Arnold Goldman. After graduation from the Chicago public schools Bette matriculated at Northwestern University in Evanston. She graduated with a BA in Speech at age nineteen, and jobs in radio in New York City and Chicago followed.

In 1950 Bette married Norman Kelinson of Rock Island, IL and settled across the Mississippi in Bettendorf, IA. Bette and Norman had a good life in "Iowa's Most Exciting City" and shared a passion for the theater, books, politics and their community.

As was typical of the times, Bette deferred her professional career to raise two sons — Craig (Nancy) Kelinson now of Des Moines and Jonathan Kelinson now of Washington, D.C. Bette was there for countless little league games, bake sales, band concerts and tennis matches. Restarting professionally, she provided advertising and public relations for the Blackhawk Hotel and other enterprises.

In addition to family and career, Bette served many community organizations and boards, including the United Way, the League of Women Voters and, very importantly, Temple Emanuel. Ever the actress, she appeared in numerous amateur theater productions (Playcrafters Theatre, Gridiron Club Dinner) around the Quad-Cities, occasionally directed by husband Norm, and picked up a professional movie credit for a small part in BIX (1991).

Bette and Norm supported many local initiatives and political candidates, especially those that favored public libraries, the arts, and Republicans. This lead to work on successful campaigns for Jim Leach and she later joined Congressman Leach's Davenport staff. She retired from the congressional office after more than 20 years of helping First District constituents.

Bette was predeceased by her husband Norman and just this past year by her brother Herbert Goldman of Ventura, CA. She is survived by sons Craig and Jonathan, daughter-in-law Nancy and grandchildren Adam (Amanda) Kelinson of Washington, D.C. and Erin Kelinson of Des Moines.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 to 3:30, at Edgewater in West Des Moines on Thursday, April 16, with a memorial service at 2:30. Burial will be at Mt. Nebo Cemetery in Davenport, on a date to be announced. Please consider a gift in Bette's memory to the Bettendorf Public Library Foundation, Temple B'nai Jeshurun, Des Moines, Temple Emanuel, Davenport, or the charity of your choice. Online condolences are welcomed at

"Click here to view memorial folder"





Edgewater Retirement Community
9225 Cascade Ave.
West Des Moines, IA USA 50266
Thursday, April 16, 2015
2:30 PM


Temple B'nai Jeshurun
5101 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Bettendorf Public Library Foundation
2950 Learning Campus Drive
Bettendorf, IA 52722