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George Emerson Kelly


1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
George Emerson Kelly Obituary
George Emerson Kelly

Atlanta, GA

George Emerson Kelly, born on Sept. 1, 1924, to Shannon and Vena Kelly of Stillwater, Oklahoma, passed away in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 20, 2017 at the age of 92. After serving in World War II and the Korean Conflict, he attended Oklahoma State University where he became a brother in the Sigma Chi fraternity, married Phyllis Gouin, and earned a degree in forestry. Mr. Kelly's career in forestry and wood products spanned decades and continents with highlights that included delivering South Dakota's presidential Christmas tree to President Eisenhower in 1955 (which prompted his appearance on the I've Got a Secret show in 1956) and receiving the esteemed Lumberman of the Year award in 1987. In retirement, he embraced a Memphis-area life rich in friendships and philanthropy, summers with Phyllis on Togus Pond in Maine, and relocation to Atlanta with Phyllis to be near their children. Mr. Kelly's children will always remember his devotion to their mother and his skilled parenting, a loving blend of wisdom and instruction, humor and kindness.

Mr. Kelly was preceded in death by Phyllis Gouin Kelly, wife of 63 years, and brother Jack Shannon Kelly. He is survived by children Thomas Kelly, Kathleen Kelly Hajack (Michael), Patricia Kelly Allen (Paul); grandchildren Lane Hajack Barton (Thaddeus), Jeff Hajack, Mick Hajack, step-grandson Colby Allen (Alexis); and great-grandson George Michael Barton.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 9, at Germantown Presbyterian Church, 2363 S. Germantown Rd., Germantown, Tennessee.

Memorial donations may be made to Church Health at 1350 Concourse Ave., Suite 142, Memphis, TN 38104, or to the Lumbermen's Education Foundation at 1564 Cranford Rd., Memphis, TN 38117.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 2, 2017
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