Obituary Listings

Jack Kelley

February 7, 1931 October 23, 2018
Jack Kelley
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Obituary for Jack Kelley

Waynesville, Homer Jackson Kelley, 87, lifetime resident of Waynesville, NC passed from his earthly life on the 23rd of October, 2018 after a short period of declining health. He was the son of the late David Donaldson Kelley and Mary Emma Gordon Kelley. Preceded in death by his brother J. D. Kelley and wife Allie Mae. Surviving is his wife of 64 years, Vivian Greene Kelley of Waynesville, daughter Emily Kelley Nelson and husband David Nelson of Waynesville, son Edward M Kelley and wife Jo Ridge Kelley of Waynesville, and son Phillip Jackson Kelley and wife Vicki Clemmons Kelley of Mars Hill, NC.

He also leaves a brother Joe Kelley and wife Kay Kelley, sister-in-law Louise Greene Nanney and husband Benjamin Roy Nanney of Waynesville. He loved his grandchildren, Keri Anna Kelley Hollifield and husband Reuben of Waynesville, Ashley Nicole Rickman of Mars Hill, Lauren Kelley Nelson and husband Andrew Delli Paoli of Erie, PA, Abby Danielle Kelley and Jacob Jackson Kelley of Mars Hill. He shared his love with numerous nieces and nephews.

Jack was born at Hall Top near Waynesville, NC on February 7, 1931. He graduated from Waynesville Township High School in 1949 where he was a cheerleader and drummer in the concert band. He was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church of Waynesville, and a former Deacon and interim Choir Director there. A veteran of the Korean Conflict, he served in Okinawa as Sargent in the U.S. Army, 1951-1953. His civic duties include serving on the Haywood County Board of Elections. Jack was proud of the fact he had donated over 8 gallons of blood to the Red Cross.

As a testament to his versatility and commitment, Jack retired from Dayco Corporation after 42 years of continuous employment. His mechanical ability landed him his first job as Millwright in the maintenance department. For several years, he was treasurer of AFL-CIO Local 277 labor union. His mathematical ability allowed him to transition to Computer Programmer Analyst in the late 1960’s until he retired in the early 1990’s.

Jack was well known in the community for his wonderful singing, and his solos graced innumerable weddings, funerals and church services throughout Haywood County and beyond. Many choirs, ensembles and quartets were enhanced by his natural tenor voice. He always enjoyed a chance to entertain a gathering with both sacred and secular songs, usually accompanied by his guitar and piano playing; he was self-taught on both instruments. As early as 8 years old, he was performing with his brothers, J.D. and Joe, as the Blue Valley Boys, winning prizes at the Saturday Night Roundup musical show in Asheville, NC in the late 1930’s. The three gentlemen played together in later years to entertain once again with their sibling harmonies. As a natural musician, his ear for intonation and harmonies was near perfect, and his talent was passed down through both genes and passion to his children and grandchildren.

Not as many people were aware of Jack’s expertise with tools of all kinds. He was a skilled mechanic and his repairs kept the family automobiles running in top condition. He enjoyed tinkering with a number of unique vehicles, including a Renault Dauphine, and a Studebaker Silver Hawk. For many years he could be seen cruising the streets of Waynesville in his prized 1981 Chevrolet El Camino. His mechanical aptitude extended to just about anything that was put together with screws, nuts and bolts.

Carpentry and woodworking projects also occupied a great deal of his time. From room additions to remodeling and even building his own garage, he had a way with hammer and saw. His handmade wooden gifts were always appreciated by his family. Jack’s gift for home repair included proficient electrical and plumbing abilities and his finish work was top notch. Both his mechanical and woodworking skillfulness were invaluable to his family and his knowledge and passion for a job well done have been passed along to his sons.

For nearly 30 years, Jack spent many mornings in the office of Ridge Runner Naturals, keeping the books in order. He was a silent but essential partner in the business with his son Ed, and daughter-in-law Jo. Much of the business’s longevity was underlain not only by his numerical acuity, but his mechanical knowledge, tireless energy and vision.

For recreation, he was a league bowler in younger years, and always enjoyed golfing. Jack had a knack for both sports, and a friendly, but competitive streak that was challenging to his fellow players. He found good outdoor exercise in walking and riding his bicycle. Jack led a very active life well into his 80’s.

He fed his family with fresh vegetables from his garden and took much pride in the appearance of his yard and home. With her green thumb, his wife Vivian added a beautiful palette of flowers and plants, and working together, they made their yard and home welcoming and appealing.

It could be said that few people have lived as productive a life as did Jack Kelley, and it often seemed he could do the work of two people in half the time. The legacy of all the things he made, repaired or refurbished will stand for many years to come. He was truly a “Jack” of all trades.

Above all, Jack was a devoted husband and loving father. His provision and commitment to his family was second to none. Jack’s honesty, sincerity, and sweet and kind disposition garnered him many, many lifelong friends. He gave freely of his time in coming to the aid of family, friends, neighbors and strangers. Jack lived an exemplary life. His deeds of kindness and his musical talent touched many souls. Even if he never verbalized it, it is obvious that his sole purpose in life was to make and leave this world a better place.

Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. on October 28, 2018 at First Baptist Church of Waynesville in the Sanctuary with Reverend Mitch Huskison and Reverend Dr. Robert Prince, III officiating. Burial will follow at Green Hill Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Dr. William Terry Kelley, David Nelson, Reuben Hollifield, Butch Franklin, Mike Franklin, Joey Reece, Andrew Revis and Keith Reece. The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m. prior to services in the chapel of the church.

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Matthew 25:21, KJV

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation (www.kidney.org) or the American Heart Association (www.heart.org)

The care of Jack has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at www.wellsfuneralhome.com

Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

28

Oct

1:30 PM 10/28/2018 1:30:00 PM - 3:30 PM 10/28/2018 3:30:00 PM
First Baptist Church of Waynesville Chapel

100 South Main Street
Waynesville, NC 28786

First Baptist Church of Waynesville Chapel
100 South Main Street Waynesville 28786 NC
United States

Service

Sunday

28

Oct

3:30 PM 10/28/2018 3:30:00 PM
First Baptist Church of Waynesville Sanctuary

100 South Main Street
Waynesville, NC 28786

First Baptist Church of Waynesville Sanctuary
100 South Main Street Waynesville 28786 NC
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Green Hill Cemetery Final Resting Place

161 Veterans Circle
Waynesville, NC 28786

161 Veterans Circle Waynesville 28786 NC
United States

Memorial Contribution

Kidney Foundation (National)

30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016

American Heart Association (National)

4217 Park Place Court
Glen Allen, VA 23060-9979
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