Charles Reece Kelley, Sr., of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away on July 21, 2013, in the comfort of his home with his wife, sons, daughters, in-laws and grandchildren at his side. He suffered from the long term effects of Parkinson's Disease. He was born prematurely on the family farm in Harmony, Ala., outside Andalusia on Oct. 6, 1927, to Walter B. and Alma Kelley. After graduating from Straughn High School in 1945, Charles joined the United States Air Force and served on bases from Mississippi, Georgia, Alaska to Germany, the Panama Canal Zone and North Africa. He served his country for 20 years before retiring and moving his family to Fort Walton Beach.
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Following his military retirement, he began a second career that spanned over 40 years when he joined his brother, Roy, as partner and became a successful local business owner of Kelley's IGA. Over the next 20 years, Charles expanded the family business to five locations including the Village Market in Shalimar, and Kelley's Supervalu Foods in Niceville, Crestview, Baker and Freeport, while bringing his daughter and sons into the business. During this time he was also active with the Fort Walton Beach Kiwanis Club and has been a long standing member of Shalimar United Methodist Church. He enjoyed traveling in his motor home and loved tailgating at Florida State football games. Later in life he took up snow skiing and took several trips with his family.
Charles will be remembered by all those that knew him as a kind, loving and giving man that never met a stranger. He was always so very positive and kind and willing to listen to anyone that needed his help or guidance. He volunteered his time and money to assist many charitable groups with a particular fondness for Shalimar United Methodist Church.
Charles is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Sarah Elizabeth; son, Chuck Kelley and wife, Lori, of Fort Walton Beach; daughter, Pat Kelley of Shalimar, Fla; son, Mike Kelley and wife, Leisha, of Fort Walton Beach; daughter, Teresa Pattison and husband, Mark, of Shalimar, Fla.; daughter, Kathy Maloney and husband, John, of Palm Harbor, Fla.; grandchildren, Ryan Kelley, Taylor Kelley, Kendall Kelley, Sam Maloney, Erin Maloney, Sydney Pattison, Matthew Pattison, and Tanner Pattison; sister, Frances K. Hall and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Alma Kelley; brothers, Ernest J. Kelley, Ray Kelley and Roy J. Kelley; sisters, Grace Kelley, Caudie K. Merritt, Lottie K. Lloyd and Euna K. Faulkner.
Our family is so thankful for the unwavering care and attention provided by Mary Berenics from Home Instead Senior Care, his caregiver the last three months, as well as Gail Silvani and the wonderful staff of Emerald Coast Hospice during his final week.
Visitation will be held at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road, Fort Walton Beach on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, from 5 until 7 p.m. Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m., on Thursday, July 25, 2013, at Shalimar United Methodist Church, 1 Old Ferry Road, with Dr. Larry Bryars officiating. The family will receive friends for a fellowship time in the Family Life Center immediately following the service. Committal services, with military honors, will be at Beal Memorial Cemetery immediately following the reception. Honorary pallbearers will be Honorable Judge Erwin Fleet, Claude Royster, Raymond Whitehead, Dick Cannon, Joe McClain and Joe Nelson. Active pallbearers will be grandsons, Ryan Kelley, Taylor Kelley, Sam Maloney and Matthew Pattison, and nephews, Steve Hall and David Hall.
Flowers will be accepted as well as donations to the Shalimar United Methodist Church Building Fund. Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
113 Racetrack Road Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from July 23 to July 25, 2013