Kelly M. Day

Kelly M. Day, 77

Kelly M. Day, 77, of rural Lafayette, died Saturday April 6, 2013, at 10:10 p.m. EST on his beloved farm just east of Buck Creek. Kelly was the only child of the late Harry Fannon Day and Veta Nell Meade. He was born at the home of his great-grandparents, Manson L. and Nora Mae Cornwell Day at 209 West North Street, Warrensburg Mo., Johnson County on January 9, 1936. Raised in Warrensburg, Kelly graduated from College High School in 1954. He graduated McPherson College located in McPherson, Kan., with a degree in Rural Studies in 1958. Kelly spent two years as a Conscientious Objector with Brethren Volunteer Services. The majority of his CO work was spent with the Heifer Project in Linz, Austria. Upon his return to the United States, Kelly moved to Ohio and married Mary Anne Baker on September 24, 1961.

Kelly was baptized into the Old German Baptist Brethren Church, Bear Creek District, at Deeter's Pond in the spring of 1961. He was called to the ministry shortly thereafter and installed by Leroy Garber on September 7, 1963. Kelly served as a minister in Bear Creek District until moving to Monon, in the fall of 1963. He continued his service as a minister in North Fork District until leaving the church in June 1973. Kelly continued his commitment to his Anabaptist beliefs and plain living until his death.

Kelly spent his entire life engaged in working with or on the land. He began his career with Farmersville Elevator in Farmersville, Ohio. In October 1963, he moved to Monon and managed the Standard Elevator. Kelly was hired as a Research Agronomist with Purdue University in November 1966, and remained in that position until his retirement in January 2006.

It was Kelly's dream to raise his family on a farm, and in August 1967, he fulfilled that dream with the purchase of the Eldo & Esther Martz farm. It was here that Kelly instilled his work ethic and love of the land into his five children. Many memories were created on that farm.

Kelly's unwavering commitment to provide for his family leaves a legacy of memories. Throughout his life, Kelly was steadfast in always making choices that he felt to be in accordance with the wishes of his Savior. His hallmark sense of humor lightened many days. He passed to his children and grandchildren his thirst for knowledge, love of travel and commitment to family life. Kelly was fluent in German. He enjoyed reliving his CO travels in Europe, his trip to Austria and Germany with his sons, and the trips he took with his mother to Alaska as well as overseas aboard the QE2. Kelly loved to celebrate milestones and his children will remember the many trips to Dairy Queen in Delphi or Arni's in Lafayette when the crops were planted and harvested.

Kelly was musically gifted. Although he never read a note of music he knew countless hymns and folk songs by memory. He played the guitar, autoharp, harmonica, and organ. He could call a square dance at the drop of a hat. Kelly was instrumental in introducing Sacred Harp singing to a new generation in the Midwest. Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of a capella sacred choral music dating back to early 18th century England.

Kelly is survived by his five children; and ten grandchildren. They are daughter, Rachel Anne Day, DDS (West Lafayette IN) and husband Michael Davis; and their 3 children, Joshua Christian Day Smith (wife Rachel Warsco Smith), Matthew David Day Smith and Mycah Danielle Davis; son Michael Reed Day (Seattle) and wife Kathleen Glavin Day; and their daughters, Sarah Caroline Day and Tess Elizabeth Day; son Stephen Brent Day (Austin Texas) and wife Susan Mays; and their sons, Aaron Samuel Day and Quentin Minquan Zhu Day; son, Nathan Lance Day (Fishers) and wife Kim Downham Day; and their two children, Mackenzie Lauren Day and Jacob Thomas Day; Christopher Day (Zionsville) and his wife Pamela Dupree Day; and their son, Lincoln Calvert Day. Kelly also leaves two first cousins with whom he was very close; Wallace Brown (wife Evelyn) of Warrensburg, Mo., and Albert (Buddy) Brown (wife Roberta) of Lone Jack, Mo. Preceding Kelly in death was his mother, Veta Nell Meade.

Visitation will be held at Abbott Funeral Home located at 421 East Main Street, Delphi, on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Services will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 10 a.m. at the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center located at 1030 N. Washington Street, Delphi IN 46923. Services will be officiated by John Hess and Kelly's five children. Online condolences: abbottfuneralhome@frontier.com">abbottfuneralhome@frontier.com">abbottfuneralhome@frontier.com">abbottfuneralhome@frontier.com.

Following services in Delphi the family will accompany Kelly to his final resting place in Warrensburg, Mo. A second visitation will be held on Friday, April 12, 2013, 10 a.m., with a brief service immediately following at 11:30 a.m. at Williams Funeral Chapel located at 1400 South Maguire Street, Warrensburg MO 64093. Burial will be at Sunset Hill Cemetery beside his mother and maternal grandparents.

To our neighbors and loved ones who offered prayers, visits, food, calls and countless acts of kindness - we thank you. The family also wishes to express heartfelt thanks to St. Elizabeth CCU, St. Elizabeth Hospice and the many friends who helped Kelly remain on his farm the final days of his life.

Funeral Home

Abbott Funeral Home - Delphi
421 E Main Street  Delphi, IN 46923
(765) 564-4452

Published in the Journal & Courier from Apr. 7 to Apr. 9, 2013