WILLIAM JAMES KELLEY, JR.
DECEMBER 13, 1928–SEPTEMBER 10, 2022
William (Bill) James Kelley went to be with the Lord on September 10, 2022. He died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends. Bill was born on December 13, 1928 in Bronx, New York to William and Adele (Opperman) Kelley. He spent his young years living in Yonkers, New York, and this is where he met and married Lois Henvey on December 27, 1952. Bill and Lois would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this December.
Bill was employed by Refined Sugars and Syrups as a Traffic Dispatcher. During those years, he was active playing softball, volleyball, and bowled on a company team. One of his joys was to attend the sporting events of his three children. During those years, he coached many Little League and softball teams, and even won city championships. Bill and his wife traveled on Saturdays to Pennsylvania (three hours there and back), to watch their son play college football. He also served five years in the National Guard and spent two weeks every summer at Camp Drum in northern New York.
In 1988, Bill retired to Florida after working 40 years at the “sugar house.” Bill and his wife found the Spruce Creek Presbyterian Church nearby, and he served close to 30 years on the diaconate. Without delay, Bill joined the Daytona Senior Softball League and played six games a week well into his 80’s, and it wasn’t unusual for him to run for other batters (Bill ran track in high school and could outrun most opponents)! He even participated in a race of senior runners and won both the 50 and 100-yard dashes. During the season, a small group of players met each Saturday for breakfast, and Bill arranged to have an interesting speaker join them. The players generously chipped in a few dollars, and the collection was sent to local charities.
It is difficult to put into words the impact Bill has had on all the lives he touched. He had a passion for life and a willingness to always go the extra mile, even if all odds were against him. He had a fierce love of sports, whether he was playing them or watching them. Bill was an avid fan of the New York and San Francisco Giants (once New York) from the time he was a small boy and was known to tip over chairs after jumping up in excitement over a touchdown or a home run. Playing cards was an all-time favorite, and he would never turn down a game of Pinochle, particularly because he was an exceptionally good player! But what really set Bill apart from others was his willingness to drop anything to help, whether it was repainting a room for the second time because you didn’t like the color, warming up frost-bitten toes after skating, or changing your flat tire in the middle of the night—all without complaining. He was an amazing man, and we are going to miss him terribly.
Bill leaves behind his loving wife, Lois, and their three children—William (Susan), Beth (William), and Jayne (Kirk); his beloved sister—Barbara Thompson; his five grandchildren—Britt, Katie, Devin, Megan, and Kimberly; and his five great-grandchildren—Isaiah, Zahra, Xander, Everett, and Keeley.
There will be a Celebration of Life service at 12:00 pm on November 5, 2022, at the Spruce Creek Presbyterian Church, located at 1705 Taylor Road, Port Orange, Florida 32128, Telephone (386) 761-2902.