Daniel Kelley

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Daniel Edward Kelley, Mercy's "Candy Man," was born in Peoria, IL to Marguerite Ryan Kelley and John Francis Kelley on 4-14-1928. Dan was the youngest of 3 sisters and 2 brothers, beloved beyond words, in life and in death. Dan's family was his heart. In summer, 1935, the family moved to Oklahoma City. Dan attended John Carroll Catholic School, where he graduated in 1946. He attended college at St. Benedict's in Atchison, KS, and then transferred to Kendrick Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Dan studied for the priesthood for 5 years there and at St. John in Little Rock, AR, receiving a degree in Theology from the University of AR. God's plan for Dan changed in 1951 when he confided to then Bishop Eugene McGuinness that he did not feel that he would be an outstanding priest but would attempt to be an outstanding lay person. Moving home to OK, Dan worked at Tinker AFB while attending OCU, earning a degree in English. He enlisted in the Navy in 1953 as a Seaman Recruit, returning home again after a 2-year tour of duty in Newport, RI. While practicing his faith at his adored Our Lady's Cathedral, Dan met the only true love of his life, Mary Louise Abel. Married 4-7-1956, the two nurtured and raised seven children together, to whom they remain eternally devoted, providing each a full Catholic education of 12 years in school, but much more at home. During his 82 years, Dan never met a stranger; he loved people, especially children and the aged. After retiring from 39 years at USG, Dan devoted his time to his family, his church, the clergy, his community, and the Sisters of Mercy. His fondness throughout his life for the Mercy Nuns culminated in over 20 years of volunteer and chaplain service at Mercy Hospital, where he will forever remain their most ardent ambassador of Hope, the "Candy Man." Dan's precious spirit, gathered in Our Lady's arms, returned to his Heavenly Father on angels wings the morning of 8-14-10. There he is reunited with his children, Pat and Mike; his parents; and siblings: Jeanne, Bobby, Mary, and Jimmy. Dan is survived by his spouse, Mary Louise; sister, Patsy; brother-in-law, Gerry Abel; and Dan's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Susie Miles, Colin, Lauren and Evangeline, Joseph, Daniel, Stephen, and Charlton; Sean Kelley, Carolyn and Laurel, Kathy Bower, Troy, Jacqueline, Caitlin, and Paige; Tim Kelley, Lori, Zachary, Paul, Timmy, and Molly, Margie Avant, Tom, James, Blaine, Conner, Caroline, Claire, and Alli; Jeanne McMurrain, Allan, Trace, Sean, Connor, and Maddie; and Patsy Hepner, Tim, Maggie and Lucy, Liza and Lane, and a foster child, Maxine Southerland. Wake services will be held on 8-18-10 at 7 pm, and Mass of Christian Burial on 8-19-10 at 11 am, both at St. Eugene Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Dan and Mary request donations be made to St. Eugene's Building Fund. Dan's journey was richly blessed by the expertise and the compassionate care of the physicians, nurses, administration, and entire staff of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, together with the chaplains and Father John the Baptist, to whom the Kelley family owes an immeasurable debt of Gratitude.

Published in The Oklahoman on Aug. 17, 2010
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