Robert Ford Kelley passed away peacefully in his home with Diana, his twin flame and wife of 13 years, at his side. He is survived by his only child, Lisa Kelley, granddaughter, Kelly (his namesake), and great-grandchildren, Isaiah and Hailey. Other extended family members were children, Rene, Britta, Rachel, Shenandoah and Spica, and grandchildren: Hannah, Zachariah, Brayden, Jakob, Lily, Jehrich, B.J., Tory, Tajiana, and a nephew, Christopher.
He was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts and attended Brandeis University and later served in the Coast Guard. Since childhood, he has stayed in touch with his two best friends, Bill Barry and Peter Carney for over 78 years. They were able to visit together a few days before he died.
Robert appreciated all living things and was an avid gardener. He created beautiful gardens in and outside of his home. He had special relationships with many four-legged friends from his beloved dogs to the wild foxes, squirrels and deer that played in his gardens.
As a prolific freelance writer, Robert and his first wife, Penny, had the freedom to travel the country. After her passing in 1999, Robert settled in Colorado Springs and became active in several Christian church communities: New Life, Emmanuel Missionary Baptist, Broadmoor Community, Chapel of Our Saviour, and First Congregational. Robert often attended spiritual retreats in Sedona with Dawn Katar and in Hawaii and Mt. Whitney with Cheyenne Maloney. Robert found balance and truth within traditional Christian teachings and from nontraditional teachings in Conscious Awareness. Robert often commented that he was chasing God, but he also loved to tell the story of a man dying and meeting St Peter at the pearly gates and St. Peter asking him, "Well, how did you like Heaven?"
A close friend wrote, "Robert was a rare bird. His love of the sacred scriptures and his relationship with God gave him a big presence. He lived fully knowing he was an expression of the divine. There was room in Robert's heart for everyone and everyone felt special under his gaze. His adoration of the feminine was practically legendary and took nothing from his devotion to his beloved wife. He lived a "godly" life and the twinkle in his eye and his robust laugh will live forever in our hearts."
Robert's Celebration of Life ceremony and the party to follow will be held at the First Congregational Church, Colorado Springs, on Thursday, May 5, at 3 p.m. His final resting place will be at the Columbarium at Chapel of Our Saviour Episcopal Church.
Please do not send flowers, but if moved to do so, pay it forward to someone or something in need.
Published in The Gazette on May 1, 2016.