PEORIA - John E. Kelley Jr., 70, of Peoria passed away and answered God's call at 1:41 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at HCR Manor Care.
He was born Jan. 16, 1944, in Coffeeville, Miss., to the late John E. Kelley Sr. and Thelma Riddick. He married his soul mate, Leona (Richard) Kelley. She survives.
John was a faithful member and deacon of Rising Sun Christian Church.
He was the leader of various bands, including the Soul Steppers and Good & Plenty. He was an active member of the NAACP.
John was employed by Pabst until the company relocated. His craft was cutting hair, and he proudly worked as a barber for 50-plus years.
John held a special place in his heart for his stepmother, Grace Kelley, who came into his life at the age of 2.
He leaves to cherish his precious memories his wife, Leona C. Kelley of Peoria; two sons, Todd (Shaton) Kelley of Atlanta, Ga., and Tim (Jessika) Kelley of Los Angeles, Calif.; one daughter, Shawn Marie Kelley of Peoria; three brothers, Archbishop Arthur L. (Maggie L.) Kelley of St. Louis, Mo., Robert Ford of Peoria and Elder Garland (Lottie) Kimble of Memphis, Tenn.; five sisters, Hazel (Paul) Gulley of Marietta, Ga., Katie Jackson of Memphis, Tenn., Clyde Riddick of Austell, Ga., Clara Riddick of Peoria and Sandra Riddick of Marietta, Ga.; godson, James (Rollanda) McCoy of Peoria; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; along with a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends who adored and will miss him dearly.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John (Grace) Kelley, and mother, Thelma Riddick; one brother, Lawrence Kelly; and one sister, Barbara Byox.
Homegoing celebration will be held today, May 24, 2014, at 10 a.m., at Rising Sun Christian Church, with visitation commencing one hour prior at 9 a.m. Pastor John Gibson will officiate. John will be entombed in Swan Lake Memory Gardens Mausoleum.
Arrangements were made especially for John's family and professionally directed by T.W. Parks Colonial Chapel.
Online condolences or words of encouragement can be made at www.twparkschapel.com.