Michael Kelker

Obituary of Michael Kelker


Michael E Kelker, age 79 of Basking Ridge, NJ, died peacefully on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Arden Courts in Whippany, NJ. 

Born in Fort Wayne, IN, he was oldest of 6 children from Edward and Maxine Kelker. Immediately after graduating high school, Mike enlisted in the ‘Kiddie Cruise” program and served three years in the United States Navy where he worked as an aircraft mechanic in Guam.

After a few years, Mike enrolled at Southern Illinois University. It was here that he met Margo Swingle whom he married on August 22, 1969. A few months later, the couple moved to NJ and Mike started to work in the Swingle family business as a salesman.  He eventually became part-owner of Swingle’s Diner Manufacturing Company in Middlesex where he worked for nearly 20 years. 

Always happiest when working with his hands, in the early 1990s, he joined his good friend Paul Carola in a home renovation. This led to a partnership that lasted until their mutual retirement. A Carola Construction jobsite could typically be found simply by getting close enough to hear the laughter.  A fixture of the Basking Ridge home improvement scene, their next job was found via word of mouth and Mike considered many of his clients friends.

A devout Roman Catholic, he was an active member of St. James Church in Basking Ridge.  In addition, he was a member of two faith-based groups, the Couples Group and the Anawim Community.

Mike is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 50 years, Margo (Swingle) Kelker, his loving daughter, Lynn Christine Kelker of Somerville, his loving son, Michael E. Kelker II and wife, Kate Turner of Media, PA.  He is also survived by his 3 precious grandchildren, Gretchen, Bridget and Rachel Kelker and his 4 brothers, Tom, Jim, Ed, and Dave and his sister, Barbara Kelker Barnes.

All services will all be held at St. James Church in Basking Ridge. Viewing will be Thursday April 26, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00  and 6:00 to 8:00 pm  The funeral mass will be Friday at 11:00 AM with a lunch to follow. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Anawim Community.  For more information call 908 453-3886 or oxford@anawim.com.