George Kelley, 95, died peacefully March 7, 2018 at Laclede Groves in Webster Groves. He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Jeanne Kelley (Lindee) in 2016 and his daughter Karol Kelley in February of this year. His remaining family includes his daughter Kathy and her husband John Franklin, and their children: Kelly Gieselmann and her two children Shea and Luke; Michael and Julie Franklin and their children Elliot, Sylvie, and Mirabelle; and Tricia and Jerry McCaffrey and their sons Jonas and Ben. Karol’s daughter is Allison, and she and her husband Drew McCausland are parents to Guinevere and Cheyenne. His first son Jeff is husband to Stacey Kelley, and Jeff’s sons are Ryan Kelley and his wife Ettie; and Brett, his wife Susan, and their daughter Beatrice. His second son Tim is husband to Lisa Kelley, and they are parents to Angela and David.
George was born and raised in the Chattanooga area to a big southern family. His Dad was a road builder and the family spent many summers with their father following and living with the crew. Although he lived most of his life in St. Louis, George always cherished his experience of growing up in the south.
As a teen, George enlisted in the Army Air Corp and served as a navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress in England during WW2. His plane was shot down on a mission in 1945 and George helped direct the doomed plane back across enemy lines as it crashed near Patton’s supply lines in France, just south of the Battle of the Bulge. He bailed out and survived, heading back home to marry his sweetheart, Jeanne Lindee.
They moved to Atlanta after the war and George received his engineering degree from Georgia Tech. In the early 50s the family moved to Concord Village in south St. Louis County where they raised their children, attending Resurrection Lutheran Church. George’s career was at Stupp Brothers Bridge and Iron in Lemay until he retired. George and Jeanne’s marriage thrived over its 70+ years.
George was a remarkable man, and his humble dignity serves as an inspiration to family and friends alike. He lived ninety-five years with one wife, one job, and always paid his own way. He never once missed a loved one’s birthday or hosting a holiday gathering. On his next to last day he told his pastor, “I’m God’s child and I’m ready to be with him through his son.” That same day he greeted visitors by asking how they were doing, sharing stories and never once complaining.
Services: George will be laid to rest with Jeanne at Jefferson Barracks on Monday March 12. A brief service will be held at 1:30. You may join the event at Jefferson Barracks, or travel with family from Kutis Funeral Home in Affton at 10151 Gravois at 12:45. Donations may be made in his name to Feed My People (feed-my-people.org) or Ray of Hope, a children’s charity in Guatemala via SendMe.org. A memorial is planned, but not yet scheduled.