Beulah W. "Bobbie" Kelsey-Smith, a championship golfer and a leader in civic and charitable activities, died Sunday in her Hilton Head Island, S.C., home. She was 88.
She had bladder cancer, her son Peter said.
She and her late husband, John R. Kelsey, moved in 1980 from their longtime home on Brookside Road in Ottawa Hills to South Carolina.
Mr. Kelsey had been president of Lumber Suppliers, the successor to the Kelsey & Freeman Lumber Co., which his family founded in 1856.
She was 22 when she learned the sport that brought her recognition for several decades.
"She learned to play golf on her honeymoon, and ended up being able to beat my dad," son Peter said. "Of course, she played much more than he did."
From the 1950s through 1982, she won the Toledo Country Club women's golf championship 15 times. A frequent competitor in those championships was Virginia "Diddy" Secor Stranahan.
"She was very good at anything she set her mind to," her son said. "She wanted to do things with my father, and my father played golf, and she learned to play golf."
Mrs. Kelsey-Smith supported women's and junior golf in the Toledo area.
She became a supporter and a volunteer leader for the Heritage golf tournament on Hilton Head.
Her current husband, Howard, several years her senior, plays golf three times a week, her son Peter said.
She was not able to play the last three years.
"That was a sad day when the golf clubs weren't being used any more," her son said.
She was a longtime volunteer leader of the Toledo District Nurse Association, known for its visiting nurse association, and was elected president in 1965. She also was a volunteer for a predecessor to the United Way of Greater Toledo. During one fund-raising campaign, she led a large corps of women volunteers.
She was a board member of the former Luella Cummings School for girls and was a docent at the Toledo Museum of Art.
She paid little mind to the trappings of society that marked many charity events.
"She was unassuming, but she could be direct, to the point. With the support of my dad, she was businesslike," son Peter said.
"She wasn't there for the coffee and the tea. That's not what she was about. She was responsible. She was a very intelligent woman and was hard working and very family-oriented."
And if anyone commented that she'd wasted her education, she replied that she was doing exactly what she wanted to: "raise her three boys to the best of her ability," son Peter said, "and give back to her community. She didn't do things halfway."
She was born in 1924, in Portland, Ore., to Beulah and Joseph Withrow. Her father became president of Toledo Pressed Steel Co., and the family moved east. She grew up in the Old West End.
She was a graduate of the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Wellesley College.
She and her late husband liked to play bridge. In retirement, they visited the Galapagos Islands and took cruises down the Nile River and across the Mediterranean Sea.
She and John Kelsey married on Nov. 9, 1946. He died June 13, 1998.
Surviving are her husband, Howard V. Smith, whom she married Jan. 20, 2001; sons, Reeve -- a Wood County Common Pleas Court judge, John L., and Peter Kelsey; stepdaughter, Sally O. Smith; eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial services on Hilton Head Island will be private. Arrangements are by the Island Funeral Home and Crematory.
The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of the Low Country, Bluffton, S.C., or the Heritage Classic Foundation, Hilton Head Island.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: email@example.com or 419-724-6182.