He was formerly of Clarke County and Chicago, Ill. He was a Korean War Army veteran who served in General MacArthur's Honor Guard. He worked for International Harvester in the Chicago Tractor Works and Broadview Plant as a welder and parts picker where he served the Labor Union, in time, becoming President of the UAW #688. He was a member of the Tinley Park VFW Bremen Post #2791. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, Calumet Council, and scout commissioner during the years his son was a boy scout.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley Mae (nee Grow); one son, James F. Kelley Jr.; three daughters, Debra, Beverly J. Abels, Claudette Beauchamp; three sisters, Waurrine Leth, Semmes, Kathleen Lopez, Cotton Port, La., Eleanor Callahan, Reno, Nev.; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leavie V. and Arthur "Dock" Kelley, two brothers, Beauford and Thomas Kelley.
Family and friends met for a memorial service Saturday, March 1. You may visit and sign the guest book at www.suntimes.com (published in the Chicago Sun Times on Feb. 24, 2008).