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Michael George Kelly


1930 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Michael George Kelly Obituary
Michael George Kelly was born in Tucumcari, NM, on December 31, 1930, one year after the great ""Stock Market Crash"" of '29. Mike was the youngest of three children born to John Leo Kelly and Ruth Price Kelly. His brother Jack, born in 1926, and Kathleen (Kati) in 1928, were his best friends growing up along with Tito Atkins and his family on Heman Street. With his parents divorcing when he was two years old, his grandparents, Rose and Bill Reed, stepped in to help Ruth raise the Kelly clan during the ""Dust Bowl"" years in Tucumcari. As the years passed, his brother Jack went off to fight the Japanese in the South Pacific during WWII, eventually relocating to California, and Kathleen headed to the big city of Denver to attend college. Mike stayed behind working hard on the newly acquired farm/ranch that his grandparents homesteaded.
Shortly after graduating from high school in 1949 he joined the New Mexico National Guard for eight years. The family acquired a bar on Main Street renaming it the ""B&M"" (Bill & Mike). Mike learned to fly, bought an Ercoupe, and later traded it in for another airplane. As he continued to learn all things associated with farming, he never stopped dreaming of acquiring a ""hot rod"". At the age of 27 his dream came true when he took the bus to Detroit and picked up his new, white ""57 T-Bird""! Thanks to Mike's good friend, Gerald Cooper, the T-Bird survived many a run-in with Mike's shenanigans. He stayed on the farm working with his Grandparents until Bill Reed's death in 1964. Many came to work on the farm over the years, but none were as dear to Mike as the Montoya's! Mike was a bachelor those years until he married a divorcee with two sons, who he raised like his own, but the union lasted for only 6 or 7 years. He resumed his life as a bachelor enjoying the company of his many buddies from school and a good reason for a night out on the town!
He was a great animal lover over his lifetime taking in the ""strays"". Through the many decades of rain and drought, he held onto the family farm - he was a ""tough hombre"", as his sister Kathleen used to declare, and yet Mike was a kind-hearted man who always looked out for the ""not so fortunate"" and helped out many who were down on their luck - he had a soft spot in his heart for the underdog. After his sister's death in 2001, he continued to travel to and from Denver for the Christmas holidays to be with his brother-in-law and nieces. While visiting a niece in the Houston area over the Thanksgiving Holiday in 2009, he broke his arm and ended up staying for health reasons. He sold his farm in 2010 to local businessman/farmers always wanting to return to his ""Tucumcari"". Mike passed away peacefully in the ""Heritage Retreat Care Home"" in Kingwood, Texas. His niece and her husband were by his side along with Alvin, and all the kind and compassionate caregivers who became his family the last four years of his life A special thanks to Donna O'Connor, owner of Heritage Retreat Care Homes, and her staff for the wonderful care and compassion they showed ""Uncle Mike""!
A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday, February 13, 2014 at St. Anne Catholic Church, 306 West High St., Tucumcari, NM, followed by a reception and gathering for family and friends at the Elk's Club in Tucumcari.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to St. Anne Catholic Church.
Published in the Quay County Sun on Feb. 5, 2014
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