John Wesley Kelley was born on March 3, 1939 in New River, Florida where he resided most of his life.
He attended RJE School and graduated in 1959. After graduation, John went on to attend Edwards
Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. John also served his country as a Private in the United States
Army, where he did tours in many places, including Germany, before returning home to tend to the
family farm and care for his loving mother, Azalea Kelly, his grandmother, Myrler Kelly, and his uncle,
Isaac Kelly. He lovingly cared for each of them until their deaths. John cherished his family above all
else. Although the Kelly family is large, he remembered everyone, even their birthdays. John was the
unofficial family historian; he maintained a family tree that memorialized five generations of Kellys.
John’s life purpose was to connect with others and make them feel special.
In 1998, John moved to Brandon, Florida to live with his Aunt Doreatha and Uncle Roosevelt to be closer
to his family. After moving to Brandon, John never missed any family gatherings and made them more
special with his poems, art, photography, and mile-high dinner plates. John never met a soul food meal
that he couldn’t tackle. John was very caring and never met a stranger. He could easily strike up an
interesting conversation with the youngest or oldest person in the room. That was only one of the many
ways he was special. While living in Brandon, John had the opportunity to focus on several of his
interests which included: astronomy, writing poetry, photography, drawing, and painting. In the early
2000s, John began attending the Brandon Senior Center, where he was able to do the activities that he
loved dearly. He shared special times with his fellow Seniors and the staff at the Center. John happily
shared his talents with his peers by volunteering as an art instructor and serving on the Center’s
Advisory Board. John treasured his time at the Center, he rarely missed a day. John was also a faithful
member of Keeney United Methodist Church.
On August 28, 2020, God called John home to give him eternal rest. Though he is no longer with us in
body, he left each of us better for having spent time with him. John is with his creator and reunited with
his mom (Azalea), and grandparents (Benjamin and Myrler). John was Azalea’s only child, but he is
survived by first cousins who were more like his siblings: Aaron Kelly (Shirley) Lowee Jones (Elmer),
Fletcher Kelly, Cynthia Brown, Sylvia Patterson, Vera Dennis (Willie), Patrick Williams, Carnell Williams,
Herman Kelly (Linda), Lawrence Kelly (Deborah), Carmen Kelly, Frank Kelly (Patricia), Michael Kelly,
Frederick Kelly, Kelvin Dell (Zoy), Betty McDowell, and Grace Jones (Reginald). John also had a host of
other cousins and friends who will miss him dearly.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Florida National Cemetery
6502 SW 102nd Avenue
Bushnell, FL 33513Get Directions
I am going to miss John very much. I was his date for the Christmas parties, open house at the center; and all the fish sandwiches we ate after drs visits at the VA. John was a very talented quiet soul. He had much respect from the people and staff at the center. And he absolutely loved going to the center. Rest In Peace John
John Wesley Kelly was a kind, gentle spirit Who loved caring for my three small dogs who loved him spending time with him as well. I will always cherish the memories of John and the happy times he shared with his dog friends, Tazer, Toby, and Paprika. Rest In Peace Dear John Wesley.