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Tim L. Kelly


1946 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Tim L. Kelly
1946 ~ 2015
"Lick Your Lips"
After living an exemplary and unique life, our Gentle Giant finally said goodbye on 8 January 2015 after battling Alzheimer's for 10 years.
Timothy Lowell Kelly was born in San Diego, CA on 18 August 1946 to proud parents Robert and Jean Kelly after Bob's service as a Naval pilot during World War II. The family briefly lived in Seattle before settling in Bountiful. Tim attended Judge Memorial Catholic High school from 1960 to 1964 and quickly transformed into a dominant athlete. As a Bulldog, he played football, wrestled, threw the shot put, and spent countless hours in the weight room. Tim helped lead Judge to the state football championship in 1963, received All-State honors as a defensive tackle as a senior, and placed 2nd in his weight class at the Utah wrestling championships in 1964. Tim also dabbled in poetry and journalism while at Judge, foreshadowing the legendary career that he would start just a few years later.
In September 1966, Tim met the love of his life, Sharon Hawk. After an introduction by mutual friends, Tim was immediately dazzled by Sharon. Being a true romantic, dad took mom duck hunting on their first date. Sharon was powerless against Tim's charm, and the two ultimately married in 1970 and produced three stunning children.
Shortly after meeting Sharon, Tim started as a copy boy at the Salt Lake Tribune in 1967. He worked his way into a photographer position and spent the next 30 years visually chronicling major local and worldwide events in Utah. Tim captured a myriad of astonishing images of the Floods of 1983, fugitive escapee Pink Floyd the flamingo at the Great Salt Lake, the Utah Jazz, Runnin' Utes, local high school athletes, and the budding athletic careers of the young Kelly, Griffin, Clark, Sause, Bagley, and Wharton kids. Salt Lake Trib writers Tom Wharton and Paul Rolly recently honored Tim's incredible work with emotional and touching tributes, found at http://www.sltrib.com/news/2040127-155 and www.sltrib.com/news/2043713-155.
Tim was great at everything he did, mostly (as he would tell you) because his heart was pure. He was a precision tennis player, a golfer who could hit the ball a country mile, lights-out bowler, master fisherman, and legendary backyard basketball player. Tim's 20-foot, falling out of bounds, right-handed hook was the most unstoppable shot on Logan Avenue, no matter how many kids were pushing Tim out of bounds or hanging on his arms.
In his youth, Tim loved to hike, ski at Alta, fish at Strawberry, and hunt birds. Mike Murray recalls that Tim was so much fun to bird hunt with because he was a dead eye and rarely missed. Tim also loved to play pool, and during his time at the U he used the Union Building to finance his academics by cleaning kids out at the pool hall.
Before starting at the Tribune, Tim spent his summers delicately parking railroad cars (with his pet skunk) in Soda Springs, ID, at the phosphorous plant in Sheridan, WY, at the sugar beet factory in Torrington, WY (while hunting deer at night to keep from starving), at the Triangle X Ranch in Jackson, WY, and Denmons restaurant in Salt Lake. Tim was known to miss the occasional preseason two-a-day afternoon football practice while working at Denmons (unless it was the team's picture day, according to teammate and lifelong friend, Ray Thomas).
Among the activities Tim loved the most: golfing with Sharon, Mike Murray, Denny Green, Diane Cole, or Roger Hawk, playing tennis with Paul Fraughton and Ray Thomas, taking pictures of sunsets at the Great Salt Lake, houseboating at Lake Powell with the Kelly family or Tribune/Korologos gang, camping at Arches or Zion with the family and the Griffins, and drinking wine on the front porch with mom, Mary Griffin, and other Logan Ave neighbors.
Tim was the embodiment of volunteerism and selfless service. He coached youth football, baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball at J.E. Cosgriff/St Ambrose along with the Hallucinations softball teams (while wearing his uniquely fashionable socks) for over 40 years. Hundreds of kids had the pleasure of learning the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, hard work, and a never-give-up attitude from Tim over the years.
Tim was happiest when others were happy. He was a calming influence and a man of great character and integrity. Tim always had a smile and seemed happy. He saw the glass (life) half full. He was a positive and gentle person who truly loved life. Tim had a great sense of humor and was always fun to be around. He made you feel better about yourself and would do anything for anyone. If you asked him for help, the only thing he'd tell you is "What time do you want me?" Tim always made you feel at home, no matter where you were. He used his Donald Duck voice to the delight of kids everywhere and loved to whistle while he worked. Rarely did he ever speak badly of another person, unless of course it was a politician (especially a Republican).
Tim lived at Silverado Aspen Park care facility from the fall of 2010 until his passing. The family would like to offer our sincerest thanks to some of the finest caregivers on Earth who made Tim's final years as comfortable as possible. Additionally, we'd like to offer our eternal thanks to family friend, Lyra Thatcher, who also spent a significant amount of time caring for Tim and making him smile at home.
Tim is survived by his wife Sharon, sons Patrick and Paul, daughter Jean (Jeremy Cox), brothers Pat (Roberta), Mike (Cathy), and Steve (Antonella), sister Joan, brothers-in-law Roger Hawk and Rick Lepley, nieces Kate Lepley and Elizabeth Eaton, nephews Mike and Tim, and Molly the black Lab. Tim was preceded in death by Bob and Jean Kelly, Sharon's parents, Elsie and Paul Hawk, and brother-in-law, Mike Hawk.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at Starks Funeral Parlor (3651 S 900 E) on 7 March 2015 from 6:00-8:00 PM. Complimentary valet parking will be available on the north side of the building.
If you have photos of or a story about Tim you'd like to share, please send them to [email protected] or post it at www.Facebook.com/TimKellySLC. Online condolences may also be shared at www.starksfuneral.com
In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to the or Cure Alzheimer's Fund. Finally, to honor Tim's memory, make a random act of kindness a daily part of your life. Tim would like that.
Too-da-loo, Sweet Tim.          
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Jan. 18 to Mar. 1, 2015
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