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Ronald Kelly Sr.

February 17, 1938 - April 14, 2015
Portage, MI

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Visitations


Thursday, April 16, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Portage Location
5975 Lovers Lane
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 344-5600
Driving Directions

Friday, April 17, 2015
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT
Cherry Creek Community Church
10641 Shaver Road
Portage, MI 49024

Services


Friday, April 17, 2015
1:00 PM EDT
Cherry Creek Community Church
10641 Shaver Road
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 327-9090
Web Site

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
230 East Ohio Street, Suite 304
Chicago, IL 60611-3201
Web Site

Cherry Creek Community Church
10641 Shaver Road
Portage, MI 49024
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

VanderSalm's Flipse
1120 S. Burdick
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(800) 232-7134
Driving Directions
Web Site

Ambati
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Print

Ronald R. Kelly, Sr. was a devoted husband, engaged father and loving grandpa. Selflessly, he put the interests of his family before his own, and in that and many other ways Ron showed his love for God. He was sharp-witted, funny and a bit stubborn. He didn’t feel the need to talk a lot and was selective about the words he chose. When he spoke others listened because his advice carried weight.

Ronald Roy was born to Fred Sr. and Luealla (Bates) Kelly in Monroe, Michigan on February 17, 1938. During the late 30s, the world economy was recovering from the Depression even as political matters were stirring in Europe. Americans were inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats and eager to build an economy that benefited all citizens. Ron and his older brother Fred enjoyed a fairly typical childhood of friends and sports. His fondness for football and his level of skill only increased as Ron played organized sports in school.

After graduating from high school, Ron began his collegiate career at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI where he was an active member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. Two years into his study Ron enlisted into the United States Army. He proudly served his country from 1959 until 1963, obtaining the rank of Sergeant.

After his service, Ron went back to Western Michigan University to complete his Bachelor of Science degree. Ron went on to teach in both Allegan and Parchment schools before entering the world of educational sales with Follett Educational Services as an award winning sales representative. Having a background in education, he was well suited to understand curricula and spent his career making sure the best texts books were available to his clients.

Life was made all the better when Ron met Sharon Sonnevil. As it happened one evening, Ron was out with a group of friends and pulled into Schwartz Drive-In right next to a car of young women. They got to talking with one another, but Ron began to focus on one cute gal in particular. Sharon ended up giving Ron her number and was eager for him to call. The next day, a young man called Sharon to ask her out, and thinking that it was Ron, she agreed. However, it was not Ron, it was one of Ron's close friends. The following day Ron called. Upon realizing the mistake Sharon asked Ron to cancel that date with Ron's friend so she could go out with Ron. So it was that a relationship began which culminated in marriage on August 6, 1965. Over the years, Ron never missed celebrating Sharon’s birthday or their anniversary. He always planned a romantic dinner out and brought flowers or some other gift which he had taken ample time to select. Truth be told, Ron was the kind of helpful husband many wives dream about. He did his share of cleaning, laundry and dishes and was wonderfully sweet and thoughtful toward the love of his life.

The couple was blessed with four children: Lisa, Ron Jr, Rhonda and Tom. Ron was a very invested parent, never missing a school activity or sporting event that involved his kids. Simply put, if something was important to one of his children, Ron made it important to him. The affection between father and children was obvious, for although Lisa and Ron Jr. called him Dad, their father will always be “Doodie” to Rhonda and “Pops” to Tom.

Ron was also part of a spiritual family—Cherry Creek Community Church. As an active member and faithful participant in Bible studies, he made friendships that lasted a lifetime.

At home, Ron could sit and read, especially books by Tom Clancy. He enjoyed his Friday night bowling league with his close friends. Since childhood, he remained a sports fan and was forever loyal to his Detroit teams—the Red Wings, Tigers and Lions. He also avidly followed the WMU Broncos, football and hockey teams. What could be better entertainment than watching a game while munching down on peanut M&Ms, pretzel rods, peanuts and or Dove chocolates?

Recently Ron entered Bronson Methodist Hospital, but even with failing health it was apparent that family meant the world to him. They will miss his joy and remember his love.

Ronald R. Kelly, Sr. age 77 of Portage went to be with the Lord on Tuesday April 14, 2015. Visitation will be Thursday April 16, 2015 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Homes, Portage, 5975 Lovers Lane (269-344-5600). Visitation will continue on Friday from 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m. at Cherry Creek Community Church; 10641 Shaver Road, Portage, where a funeral service will follow at 1:00 p.m. Ron leaves behind his wife of 50 years Sharon (Sonnevil) Kelly; his children Lisa (Charles) Holland, Ronald Kelly, Jr., Rhonda Cooksey and Thomas (Sara) Kelly; his grandchildren Joel & Kelly Holland, and Isabelle & Grant Kelly as well as many other relatives and friends. Visit Ron’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read his life story, leave a memory and sign his guest book. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Cherry Creek Community Church or Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

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