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1919 Lena Houseknecht Botts Kelbaugh 2024

Lena Houseknecht Botts Kelbaugh

July 7, 1919 — March 23, 2024


Lena Houseknecht Botts Kelbaugh

July 07, 1919 – March 23, 2024


Lena Houseknecht Botts Kelbaugh, a resident of Crofton, Maryland, for nearly 50 years, passed away peacefully in her home of 25 years on Saturday, March 23, 2024.  She was 104 years old.

Born on July 07, 1919, in Berwyn, Maryland, to Glorana and William Houseknecht, Lena was the youngest of their five children.   Lena grew up on their family farm, and these childhood years working alongside her parents and siblings shaped her lifelong ethic of hard work and gratitude.  As a young woman, Lena moved to Northwest Washington, D.C., and was employed in the hospitality industry at various local teahouses.

Lena met her future husband, Bernard C. Botts, and the two were married on August 19, 1939.  On December 8, 1942, they welcomed their first and only child, their beloved Barbara Joyce.  After Bernard’s unexpected death on January 1, 1960, Lena returned to work at Tri-Plumbing in Capitol Heights, Maryland.  Lena married Roland S. Kelbaugh on March 8, 1969, and they were happily married until his death on September 30, 1998.  Together they enjoyed many active and enjoyable years with family and friends, especially at their second home on the water in Deale, Maryland.

Lena’s Christian faith was the center of her life.   She was a lifelong member of Bowie United Methodist Church (BUMC).  Lena participated in BUMC bible studies, potlucks, and charity work; these activities were part of her weekly routine and the heart of her many deep and lasting friendships. When Lena was not busy with church activities, she could be found tending her flowers and vegetable garden.  She loved sitting on her front stoop watching the world go by, and she was grateful for all her blessings.  This gratitude was reflected in the care she gave her family, home and garden. 

Although Lena’s faith always came first, she was devoted to her family.  Lena is survived by her daughter, Barbara and her son-in-law of 63 years, James “Jim” Nalley with whom she lived for her last 25 years.  Lena is also survived by her grandson Steve Nalley (Ann) and her granddaughter Terri McGraw (Robert); her five great-grandsons Brian Nalley (Ashlee), Jason Nalley (Patty), Shawn McGraw, Mark McGraw, and Christopher Nalley, and her five great-great grandchildren. Lena is preceded in death by her parents and siblings Naomi Stranahan, Ruth DuFrane, James Houseknecht, and Elizabeth Mallonee.

       Donations may be made in Lena’s name to the “Make A Wish” Foundation:



or Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Teddy’s Place:


Funeral Services: SATURDAY, APRIL 06, 2024 at 1:30pm

                                   Visitation: 1:00 – 1:30pm preceding the Funeral. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lena Houseknecht Botts Kelbaugh, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, April 6, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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