Kenneth Dale Kelley, Sr. was born January 3, 1923 on a farm near Dixon, Missouri in Pulaski County. Kenneth was one of 11 children born to the union of the late John Emmett and Pearl (Farris) Kelley.
As a young man, Kenneth accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and was baptized. He was a very prayerful, faithful man who had a life long relationship with his Lord.
On September 11, 1941, Kenneth was united in marriage with Violet Lorraine Ray in Fairfield, Missouri. This union was blessed with 11 children and 57 years of memories. Violet preceded him in death on November 4, 1998.
In 1942, Kenneth enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was a WWII veteran, serving tours in Illinois, Alaska, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and was wounded on the Attu Island of Japan. He received his honorable discharge in 1945 having attained the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class.
Kenneth worked for many years as a civil service housing inspector at Fort Leonard Wood. He was an avid gardener and was always working outside in his flower beds. He enjoyed the fellowship at the Waynesville/St. Robert Senior Citizens Center, where he was crowned "Duke in 2001, and he truly loved going to auctions and bringing home countless treasures.
Kenneth went home to be with his Lord the morning of January 12, 2004 at the Life Care Center of Waynesville, Missouri at the age of 81 years and 8 days.
He will be very sadly missed by 11 children: Dale Kelley, Brenda Medley and Gerry Lynn Parham all of St. Robert, Rick Kelley of Pacific, Tina Banning of Waynesville, Linda Whiting of Princeton, Illinois, Sandy Salveston of Round Up, Montana, Charles Kelley and Jim Kelley both of Florissant, Tony Kelley of Cahokia, Illinois and Phyllis Smith of Roby; 1 brother: Joe Kelley of St. Robert; 39 grandchildren; 36 great grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and many other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Kenneth joins in heaven one sister: Bonnie Lammers and eight brothers: Lee, John, Clyde, Willis, Paul, Lloyd, Donnely and David Kelley.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, January 15, 2004 at Waynesville Memorial Chapel with Rev. Jaural Fincher officiating. Pianist, Becky Lercher sang, "Daddys Home "Beulah Land and "When the Roll is Called up Yonder. Serving as escorts were Jack Kelley, Brian Kelley, Jeff Nash, Richard Sandusky, Doug Whiting, Fred Gibson, Tyler Kelley, Jeremiah Thompson, Jake Kelley, Steven Kelley, Jason Helms and Rusty Whiting. Honorary escorts were John Sandusky, Jordan Kelley, Joe Kelley, Dusty Kelley, Josh Knapp and Robert Knapp.
Burial with military honors was in the Waynesville Memorial Park Cemetery. Services were under the direction of Waynesville Memorial Chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association.