James Loyd Kelley passed away on November 11, 2021 at the age of 87 years from congestive heart failure. He was born in Highlands, Texas on August 29, 1934 to Ray and Emma (Luersen) Kelley. He married Jeannie Ailene Bailey from Bastrop, Texas on March 11, 1956. They celebrated 65 years of marriage on March 11, 2021. From their union was born two sons, Kenneth Wayne and Keith Warren.
Jim was a Korean War Veteran and was stationed in the U.S and Germany. After his service in the army he graduated from Harding University with a B.A. in Accounting and began his working career as an auditor with the State Comptroller’s Office in San Antonio, Texas in 1961. In 1989 he and Ailene retired and moved to Hawkins, Texas where they lived together until his passing in Hospice of East Texas in Tyler, Texas.
Throughout his life, Jim was passionate for the Church of Christ. He strived to put God first in his life and serve others. He especially loved singing songs and hymns of praise using the deep bass voice that the Lord gave him. His grandfather was a preacher of the gospel at churches in central Texas, his father was an elder in the church, and he served as a deacon in the church. Jim was always active in local churches where he lived, from Austin to San Antonio to the East Texas area, and served as treasurer at the Highland Hills and Big Sandy churches. His last home congregation was the Holly Lake Church of Christ, near Hawkins, Texas.
Jim grew up in the country where he developed a love for hunting and fishing. Somewhere along the line, he also developed a unique sense of humor with a love for laughter. Upon retirement, he relished God’s creation as he worked outdoors on “the farm”. He enjoyed collecting old relics from the past – yard sales, estates sales, and Canton Trade Days were his friends. He also began a hobby of collecting antique pocket knives and straight razors.
He is survived by his loving wife, Ailene; son, Keith Kelley; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; son, Kenneth Kelley; brother, Edward Kelley; sisters, June King Hebert, and Violet Kelley.
A graveside service and burial was held on November 20, 2021 at Young’s Prairie Cemetery near Elgin, Texas. A memorial service is being held on December 4, 2021 at Holly Lake Church of Christ, Hawkins, Texas – with food and fellowship afterwards.