Cover photo for Kelton E. "Kelly" Houts's Obituary
Kelton E. "Kelly" Houts Profile Photo
1928 Kelton 2024

Kelton E. "Kelly" Houts

October 16, 1928 — May 4, 2024

Sioux City, Iowa

  Kelton E. "Kelly" Houts, 95, of Sioux City, passed away Saturday, May 4, 2024 at his home. Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2024 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Burial with military honors will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be held 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service including Eastern Star and Masonic services at 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2024 at Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel. 

  Kelly was born on October 16, 1928 in Estherville, Iowa to Ernest and Tena Houts. He graduated from Estherville High School in 1946. Kelly joined the US Army on June 9, 1946 and was stationed in Seoul, Korea. He was assigned to Special Services Sector XXIV Corps. He was discharged in 1948. He then married Mary Thompson on July 5, 1950 and finished his degree at University of Iowa graduating in 1952. He started his career at Firestone Tire and Rubber Co as Budget Manager for the Estherville station. After 2 years, he joined Montgomery Ward Store as Assistant Manager in Estherville. In 1959, he and his family moved to Sioux City, Iowa where he was Manager of Toy Fair Store in downtown Sioux City. In 1964, he became a State Farm Insurance agent where he retired in June 1995 after 31 years. 

  Kelly and Mary Houts had 8 children together. Kelly and his family spent many years camping and in Spirit Lake where he bought their first cabin and spent every summer with his children enjoying boating, fishing for bullheads, and watching sailboat races at his mother-in-law’s place on East Lake Okoboji. He also took his kids to the Minnesota Twins ballgames which involved fitting all of his children in a pop-up camper. After many years with his family, his wife Mary passed away on June 27,1984. He then married Donna Hedges in 1988, she passed away in 2004. Kelly then shared many years with his lady best friend Irene Bolton, she passed away in 2016.

  Kelly became a member of Calvary Episcopal Church right away after his family moved to Sioux City where he served in many capacities. He became a church officer and later became the Junior Warden. Kelly served on many boards and committees. He was President of Estherville Jaycees and when he came to Sioux City, he joined Sioux City Jaycees in 1959. Kelly was also a very active Scout Leader for over 25 years where he spent many years teaching his son, George, about scouting where they both earned their Eagle Scout together. He took George and his troop to the national jamboree in Canada and also in New Mexico. He was a member of Ole Fox Patrol of Woodbadge. During his working years at State Farm he received his CLU, CPCU and LUTC designations. He served as an instructor for LUTC and attended many State and National Conventions. Kelly also served as President of Sioux River Muzzleloaders gun club. He was a long-time member of the American Legion and past Commander of Post 697 in Sioux City. Kelly has been a lifelong member of the Morningside Lodge 615 since 1978. He joined the Abu Bekr Shrine and Scottish Rite in 1979. He was past President of the Shrine Clowns in 1983 and Wagon Master for the Campers unit in 1996. Sneaker Fund chairman since 1990. Past secretary for the Masonic Temple Association since 1997 also a member of Hospital dads and Shrine Golf Unit. He was High Priest of the Sioux City chapter #26 of Royal Arch Masons in 1999. He was Illustrious Master and Commander of Columbian Commanders #18 in 1999. Kelly was also past Chaplain of the Morningside Chapter of Eastern Star 1989 and 2004. In 2003, Kelly was awarded a Life Membership of Siouxland York Rite. In 2000, he became a member of the Royal Order of the Jesters. Kelly was District Deputy Grand High Priest for the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons of lowa in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, he was Grand Master of 2nd Veil and 2004 was Grand Principal Sojourner. His love of the Shrine has made Clowning the most favorite attraction. He has participated in numerous parades, picnics, and many other activities. He has helped at all the Circus performances for over 20 years and was instrumental in helping develop the Coloring Books the last 15 years. Kelly would like to thank all his fellow Shriners for the honor of being chosen by Potentate Jim Diamond as an Honoree for the 2007 Fall Ceremonial and he says "I ain't done yet?"

  Kelly loved all of his fur babies. His most recent was Tassie, and he has been by his side since Kelly brought him home a couple of months ago.

  Kelly is survived by 5 of his 8 children: Sue (Marlin) Berry, Mary Kay (Floyd) Baklund, Patty Houts, Kellie Ann (Ray) DiGiovanni, George (Jodi) Houts, a niece Willow Calacino, a nephew Charles Baker, along with many cousins. Kelly's legacy also leaves behind 28 grandchildren, 50 Great Grandchildren and 11 Great-Great Grandchildren.   

  Preceding him in death were his parents Ernest and Tena Houts, grandparents John & Harmka Miller, his siblings Allan Hennessy, Lorraine Chaney, Maurice Houts, and Thelma Houts. He had 3 children, Jeffrey Houts, Allen Houts, and Karen Nissen, and a grandson Thomas Houts who also preceded him in death.

  In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Abu Bekr Transportation Fund, 820 Nebraska Street, Sioux City, IA 51101 in memory of Kelly Houts. 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Prayer Service

Friday, May 10, 2024

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel

6200 Morningside Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106

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Funeral Service

Saturday, May 11, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Thomas Episcopal Church

1200 Douglas St, Sioux City, IA 51105

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