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Kelly, Larry Eugene  
Larry Eugene Kelly was the finest human being I've ever known. As a loving husband, father, grandpa, son, son-in-law, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, boss and friend, he was absolutely the best. He was fun, funny, loving, lovable, charismatic, loyal and honorable. He set the bar high for all who knew him, and he made the world a better place because he was here. He was an amazing man. He was born February 18, 1941, in Seattle, Washington, to Watson and Mary Kelly and "favorite" sister Darlene. He was raised in the small town of Cumberland, Washington, where most of the town were relatives. He was schooled through the sixth grade at the one-room schoolhouse in Cumberland, and at age 13, he entered the seventh grade at the Enumclaw Junior/Senior High School, where he met me, Suzanne Ruth Ritchie, in Mrs. Brown's class. He was an irresistible charmer, and our high school years were right out of the pages of "Happy Days" — filled with fun, friends and dances . . . and oh, how he loved to dance. He was an athlete and lettered in all three sports: football, basketball and baseball. Baseball was his second love, and he was the star pitcher and took Enumclaw on to win the state conference in 1959. His first year of college was on a baseball scholarship to the University of Idaho, but we were in love and miserable being apart, and love prevailed, so on August 6, 1960, we were married in Enumclaw, Washington, and began our forever romance together. We had no plan, no jobs, no money, but we had love and each other. He took my hand, and we walked into our future and never looked back. After 3½ years of college, two children and six years at Boeing, he entered his life's career in insurance. He worked for Safeco and Transamerica in Seattle before moving to Port Angeles to manage the Tozier Insurance Agency in 1974. In 1989, he became a partner in Gellor Insurance Inc., retiring in 2007. Larry was a proud 40-year member of the Port Angeles Lions Club, serving as president and zone chairman, and was honored with several awards over the years, including the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award . He loved helping people and loved being a Lion. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved biking, skiing, hiking and golf. He loved the beauty of the Northwest, so most of our vacations were road trips to our beautiful national parks, beaches and the long and winding roads of different states. We had several wonderful "gangs" of friends we traveled and enjoyed our life with: the Real Friends, Tacoma Crowd, the Reunion Group, the Strait-View Gang and his golf group, "The Duffers." Larry was always the instigator of fun. But Larry's favorite roles were as dad and grandpa. He was affectionately called Dadio, Papa and G/Pa by his son, Timothy; daughter Kimberly; grandsons Tyler and Alexander; son-in-law Michael; and daughter-in-law Teri. They were his pride and joys whom he loved so much, and he taught them how to be good, responsible people and carry on the Kelly name . . . his legacy. He led by example and with love, never critical. He also gave them his wonderful sense of humor. Family gatherings around our dinner table were filled with lively conversations, laughter and love. I will forever miss his laugh, loving blue eyes, our long walks on ocean beaches, fun vacation road trips, watching sunsets, clinking glasses and his hand holding mine wherever we walked. Happy trails, Darlin'. Please join the Kelly family for a celebration of Larry's life Saturday, August 29, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the CrabHouse Restaurant, 221 North Lincoln Street, Port Angeles. In lieu of flowers, donations to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, 540 East Eighth Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362; or the Port Angeles Lions Club, P.O. Box 466, Port Angeles, WA 98362, would be appreciated.
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Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Aug. 23, 2015
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