David Kelley

Obituary
7 entries
  • "My thoughts are with you Jane, Becky and family. I was..."
  • "Sad news. Many fond memories and interesting classes from..."
    - Jim Finnigan
  • "Sad news. Many fond memories and interesting classes from..."
    - Jim Finnigan
  • "Jane, Dennis and Becky, I am so sorry to hear of David's..."
    - Kevin MacLeod
  • "Jane, Denny, Becky, and of course Megan...I am so sorry..."
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KELLEY, David Humiston April 1, 1924 - May 19, 2011 David Humiston Kelley was born in Albany, New York, USA, to Gilbert David Kelley and Helen Ensworth Humiston Kelley. He was assigned to the 544th Bomb Squadron of the 384th Bomb Group of the United States Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945, much of that time being spent in Kettering, England. He entered Harvard University on the GI bill (class of 1949), leaving with a PhD in Anthropology in 1957. He was awarded two Fulbright scholarships for teaching and archaeological field work (Peru in 1957-1958 and Uruguay in 1963). He also did fieldwork in Mexico. He taught at Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas, and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln before arriving at the University of Calgary in 1968, where he worked until he "retired" from teaching. His many articles and books covered decipherment of Mayan hieroglyphs, archaeo-astronomy, calendar systems of the world, trans-oceanic prehistoric contact and genealogy. In 1999 he was the first recipient of the Tatiana Proskouriakoff Award from Harvard University for his contributions to Mayan decipherment. David delighted in being a devil's advocate and making people think. He was a very well-read individual, could read many languages, loved music, and could sing in many languages (especially drinking songs). He was our walking encyclopaedia and the arbiter in all games of trivia. He loved to sing while driving, whether on quiet country drives or cross-country road trips (usually without maps), and he instilled his love of music and lost highways in his children. He was a gentle, kind, generous, growling person. He was always willing to help anyone in need and eager to share his vast and diverse knowledge with those who wished to learn. David is survived by his loving wife, Jane; daughters Megan and Becky; son Dennis; and grandchildren Heather, Thomas, Christopher and Tico. He was predeceased by his parents and their siblings, his brother Charlie, and his son Michael, as well as, Tico's mother Ana and sister Tara. A Private Family Graveside Service will take place at Queen's Park Cemetery, with an Irish wake celebrating David's life to be held on July 2, 2011. Forward condolences through www.hffs.com . If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the David Kelley Scholarship, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary.
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Published in The Calgary Herald on May 23, 2011
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