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Celebrating the life of
Irving Alan Kelter
January 10, 1948 - January 08, 2016
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Memorial Service
  • 4:00pm - Friday, January 22, 2016
  • Chapel of St. Basil University of St. Thomas
  • 3800 Montrose Blvd. (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77006

  • 713-522-7911
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KELTER, Irving Alan. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 10, 1948, and passed away on January 8, 2016, in Houston. The son of Sidney Kelter and Irene Lowitz Kelter, his family story is iconic of the American experience. Both parents’ families were Jewish immigrants who fled Russia to escape religious persecution and political chaos. His father fought in World War II and afterwards ran Sid’s Luncheonette (and candy store) on Avenue P in Brooklyn. Irving’s school years were filled with reading, and in summer the Kelters and their relatives rented cottages on Atlantic Beach, Long Island. Irving was the first Kelter to attend college, where he excelled, was awarded Phi Beta Kappa, and earned BA and PhD degrees in History from the City University of New York. There he met a Chicagoan, Janice Gordon, who also attained her PhD in History from CUNY. They married and were called to Houston in 1989 by the University of St. Thomas, where they worked for the rest of their lives. He taught history and was for many years the respected and well-loved Chairman of the History Department. Janice’s practical skills were well deployed in many administrative positions, especially as Dean of the Master in Liberal Arts Program, before her untimely death in Paris in 2006. By first bringing them together, their love for the Liberal Arts and History opened the way for higher loves: an exemplary marriage, bringing to students the high ideals of the Liberal Arts in their very own persons as teachers, and showing how essential to Catholic higher education is the witness of Jewish faculty. Dr. Kelter, as his students called him, was a well-recognized expert and author of numerous works in the field of science and religion in the age of Galileo; and he was elected President of the South-Central Renaissance Association. He is survived by his beloved sister, Rosanne Sandra Kelter, and cousins, Barbara Schwartz and Susan Jacobs. Memorial Service will be at four o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, January 22, 2016, at the Chapel of St. Basil, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Rev. E.J. Baenziger, CSB, presiding. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Janice Gordon-Kelter Memorial Scholarship at the University of St. Thomas, Houston.

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