In Memory

Michael R. Kelly

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05/22/16 11:08 AM #1    

Jerri Jespersen (Vigos)

Memories of my good friend - Bob Sexton

Memories of Mike Kelly - 
Enjoying a 50+ year friendship with Mike is a blessing I will always cherish.  Only your true friends will tell you when you are acting like a jerk, and Mike was a true friend.  
Scholar, athlete, bachelor, vagabond, optimist.  Mike had a mighty intellect and was an avid reader with an incredible memory.  He travelled all around the US and did dozens of different jobs (such as working on a salmon fishing boat in Alaska).  He attended Brown University on scholarship after Skyline, then on to Boston College and later the University of Chicago.  He left short of a PhD in petroleum geology to make his fortune buying and selling oil leases in Oklahoma, which he subsequently frittered away.  Fast forward to Wilson WY where he was a bartender, limo driver and fueled planes at the Jackson Hole Airport over his 25 plus years living there. He spent his "free" time skiing, fly fishing, reading and giving rednecks a hard time.  
When his mother, Edith, began to lose her good health, he left Wyoming and moved to Oklahoma City to care for her.  He was an only child and a good son, honoring his mother and father, "JB".  After Edith's death, Mike returned to Wyoming.  He later moved to Vegas, which I never understood because of his love for the beauty of the mountains, lakes and rivers in Teton County WY.  In Vegas, Mike made a living playing Holdem' Poker and fleecing the tourists.  I always told him I thought Vegas was fun - for 3 days.
When I think of Mike I think of experiencing his 3 letter sports career at Skyline (either from the bench or the audience); playing the dinger and eating breakfast at the Breeze Inn on 3300 South and showing up late for class; playing gin and making instant cheesecake at his house on Zarahemla Dr. after school; working at Andy's Smorgasboard on Highland Drive with Mike and Jack Plumb (and having contests to see who could stick the most kinds of food to the kitchen wall); a night in the late 60's when we rendezvoused in Washington DC at an Irish bar (Clancey's) on St. Patrick's day (Mike came down from Brown and I swooped up from Camp LeJeune);  playing dice at the Stagecoach bar; being introduced by Mike to my current wife, Wendy, who was Mike's good friend (the fix was in); Mike's recent summer visits to our home in Baja where we fished, argued and served each other vodka tonics.
Thinking of Mike makes me happily sad or sadly happy,  I'm not sure which.  His incredible laugh started all the way from the soles of his feet and spontaneously erupted in bellowing joy.  I miss him.  

05/23/16 08:37 AM #2    

Kate Kron (Watson)

What a lovely tribute to your dear friend, Bob.  He was my date to the junior prom.  Yeah, I know.  Six foot six and barely five feet.  But no matter ~ I remember a great time!  Who could ever forget his infectious laugh.  No surprise he had a life of adventure.  Rest in Peace, Mike.

05/24/16 02:43 AM #3    

Peter Cairo

Bob - Though I hadn't seen Mike for many years, I still remember him fondly and vividly - both as a friend and and a teammate. He was special. I only wish I had had the opportunity to get to know him as you did through all of his life's adventures. Thanks for bringing him back to life for me. 



05/24/16 07:02 AM #4    

Lonni Wallace (Swanson)

Terrific tribute to Mike, Bob. Somebody turned into a writer smiley

05/29/16 07:59 AM #5    

Jack A. McDonald

On July 23, 1964, I was playing on a baseball team with Mike Kelly.  We all called him "Tree" because of his height.  Mike was one of our pitchers.  Half way through the game the coach decided that Mike needed to come in as a relief pitcher.  He asked me to warm him up.  While Mike was pitching to me something happened on the field and for a brief moment I looked at the game.  At that same time Mike threw the ball.  I wasn't watching and the ball hit me in the mouth chipping my tooth.  The only person that felt worse than I did about me walking around Skyline our junior and senior years with a chipped tooth was Mike Kelly.  I could not begin to count he number of times he said he was sorry even though it wasn't his fault.  I will always remember the thoughtfulness of the "Tree".

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