Russell W. Kelly East Lansing Born July 13, 1932, died September 15th at home surrounded by his family. One of his greatest sources of pride was that he served as a Marine in the United States Marine Corps. Russ played football there and was later recruited by Michigan State University where he played football for four years and was proud that he played on the teams that won the Rose Bowl in 1955 and the National Championship team in 1957. After graduation from MSU and because he was a man of vision, strength, and courage he decided he wanted to run his own business. Russ took $1000 and opened Spartan Motors in East Lansing where he specialized in unique and exotic sports cars. He then purchased Kelly Buick in Mason in 1970 and expanded his business over the years. At the height of his career he owned dealerships in Michigan and Florida with franchises that included: Buick, GMC Truck, American Motors, Renault, Chrysler, Jeep, Subaru and Suzuki. His small used car lot had grown into Kelly Automotive Group - a multi-dealership company. When he died - his eyes were closed but his heart was wide open because he realized that more important than success in business was the love he had for his family. Russ left behind his wife of 39 years, Beverly; sons: Nick Kelly (Rami); Terry Kelly (Mary); Gary Kelly (Melanie); Steve Kelly; and daughters: Stacy George (Kevin); and Kris Conrad (Bryan). Predeceased are Kurt Kelly, Ted Kelly, and Marilyn Kelly. Also left were 15 grandchildren and many special friends. A Memorial Service will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 955 Alton Rd, East Lansing on Friday, June 21, at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. For those desiring, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to McLaren Visiting Nurse & Hospice, 2316 S. Cedar, Ste 200, Lansing, MI 48910. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. Online condolences may be made at: www.greastlansing.com.
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Published in Lansing State Journal on June 19, 2013