Soccer star Kelsey Daulton mourned after sudden death at age 19

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Kelsey Daulton, who graced these sports pages as an Elk River soccer star not long ago, died unexpectedly  on Thanksgiving Day.

Daulton, just 19, remembered as a bright, spirited,  humorous youth, passed away apparently in her sleep at home on Nov. 22.

Kelsey Daulton, shown here in 2010 as a senior, is the Elks career scoring leader with 53 goals. (File photo by Bruce Strand)

She was found by family members who called 911 early that afternoon, said Elk River police chief Bob Kluntz on Thursday. The police, Sherburne County Sheriff  and Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating.

“We are interviewing friends and family members,” said Kluntz. “The medical examiner has not ruled on a cause of death or a manner of death at this time.

“I know there are a lot of rumors going around, which is common when we have a death of a young person. We are checking into those and trying to speak with some of the people she last spent time with.”

Kelsey is survived by parents Scott and Kathy and her sisters Brittany and Logan.

Her funeral was held Monday evening at Central Lutheran Church. Speakers were Brady Eichhorn-Hicks, her coach several years in youth soccer and this fall  at Amoka Ramsey Community College, along with former Elk teammates, and her mother.

“She had a joy about her that was infectious …  Kelsey had that incredible ability to make people love her,” said Eichhorn-Hicks in his eulogy. “Everyone loved her.  I cannot think of one player over the years that ever had a problem with her, and that is incredibly rare with young girls.”

As a player, the coach said, despite being so spindly that “a stiff breeze could knock her over” Kelsey was a dominant player, with a “certain panache” to get away with things others couldn’t. She played, and lived, he said, with a mischievous grin, quirky sense of humor,  and individualism that included wearing mismatched socks in Ram games.

Her 10 goals this year for ARCC helped them place third  in junior college nationals and broke the school record. Her 53 career goals for the Elks is the school record.

The family issued this statement through Dare Funeral Home:

“She lived a spirited 19 years and accomplished many things on and off the soccer field. She had an outlook on life that was incomparable. She is now traveling the world as she always wanted, watching us from above.”