James E. “Jim” Kelley received the most pleasure throughout his life just being with his family. They gave him this greatest of gifts one last time when they surrounded him with their love as he went home to meet his Lord and Savior Nov. 9, 2017.
Jim grew up one of twelve children; born to William S. Kelley and Mary E. Rutter Kelley on January 8, 1940 in Tiltonsville, so having family around made him happy, the more the merrier. He graduated from Conotton Valley High School in 1958 and served in the US Army Reserves. A quiet man, Jim spent his entire life helping others. This was how he met his wife, Linda Smith Kelley, of Unionville, OHwho was having car trouble when he stopped to help. They married on November 30, 1960 and moved to Dennison. He was always a hard worker and good provider so in 1966 he moved his family to Marseilles, Illinois, where he became a member of the Carpenter’s and Millwright’s Local 1092. He and his family moved back to the Scio area in 1985 and he started Kelleys’ Heating and Cooling in New Philadelphia with his brothers Lawrence and Joe. Jim retired from the business in 2002 to spend more time with the job he really loved – his hobby farm. He loved life on the farm, tending to his cattle, working with his tractor, and gardening. He also enjoyed playing guitar, piano and harmonica which he frequently shared with his church family at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church, alongside his good friend Bud Whiteman on the mandolin.
Surviving in addition to his wife are his loving children Jennifer (Jeff) Johnson of Ottawa, Illlinois, Marcy Kelley (Sall) of Scio, James “Todd” Kelley of Houston, Texas, Jack (Kim) Kelley of Jewett and Daniel (Jessica) Kelley of Hampton, Virginia; grandchildren who will miss their “Pap Pap” will be Mitch (Britta) Johnson, Laura Johnson, Shannon (Michael) Pelegreen and Jake , Keira and Malea Kelley; great granddaughters, Jaiden and Rylee Pelegreen; siblings Lawrence (Liz) Kelley, Helen (Harry) Scism, Eugene Kelley, Anna Margaret “Teen” Layton, Patricia (Ralph) Leadbetter, Joe (Jane) Kelley, Duane (Glenna) Kelley, Louise Hilderbrand all of Ohio, Kenneth (Lois) Kelley of Arizona and Robert (Geralyn) Kelley of Scotland.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Jack Kelley, a grandson Chad Johnson and son-in-law Curt Cerett.
A celebration of Jim’s life of service to God and others will begin with visitation Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church, 35500 Cadiz-Dennison Rd. Scio. Services will be held Monday Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. also at the church with Pastor Mike Cunningham officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Jewett. Memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church c/o Todd Heaston, 623 Grant St., Cadiz, OH 43907. Koch Funeral Home, Scio has been entrusted with his arrangements. www.kochfuneral.com.