James Edward Kelley
1948 - 2020
BORN
1948
DIED
2020
FUNERAL HOME
Guy & Allen Funeral Directors, Inc.
2959 West 11th Avenue
Gary, IN
James Edward Kelley was born in Gary, Indiana to James Kelley and Eddie Mae Kelley on February 10, 1948. James lived with his grandparents, Mary and Lee Rooks, whom he loved dearly and always spoke of with great love, respect and admiration. In his early years, James attended the old St. Timothy Church, at his grandmother's insistence. Years later, he found himself re-joining St. Timothy Church where his wife, Alicia belonged. James attended Lincoln Elementary and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana. During his life, he earned an Associate of Science Degree, an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Food Service Management, an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Restaurant and Hotel Cookery, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. James Kelley stood 5'8", was larger than life and a bright light to those he loved and his many friends. To his family, he was Jimmy. To his friends, "Rooks," and to his wife, he was James. All who knew him knew how very easy he was to love. He loved life and knew how to enjoy it. Nothing pleased him more than to "have a ball" with his family and friends. James loved to attend Las Vegas fights, and enjoyed all kinds of concerts. The Temptations, the Spinners, the Intruders, and Rod Stewart were some of his favorites. But the list goes on and on. When casino boats opened, it might have been at his request. James loved to run, and to skate. He once told his wife of 17 years, that he wanted his tombstone to read, "Let's Go Out and Play." James laughed often, had many friends that loved him dearly. Today, there are many people, young and old, coming from far and near, who know what a beautiful golden heart he had. People he knew well, some he barely knew, and any child that he met can bear witness to his altruistic nature. He never held back on those he cared for. For those in need, he was not just a talker. He was a doer. James Kelley loved the game of chess, held a Local Chess Coach (Level II) certificate and was a Certified Life Member of the US Chess Federation. At a time he taught an after-school chess class at St. Timothy Community Church. Many young children across the Gary School District learned to play chess under his instruction. James really got a kick out of that! James had many plans and high hopes for programs he had designed for children to learn to play chess during the school day across the country. If he had lived, it's very believable that he would have made that happen. James is preceded in death by both parents, James Kelley, Eddie Mae Kelley; Stepfather, Wallace Bradley; two brothers, Charles Ronald, "Peachie" Kelley, and Preston Bradley; Sister, ShAaron Bradley; Stepson, Justin Skinner; cousin, George "Skippy" Rooks; beloved maternal aunt and uncle, Uncle Rick and Aunt Mamie Rooks. He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife, Alicia, who he loved and adored; son, James Edward "Bey Bey" (Joslyn) Kelly, Jr.; two special "adopted" children, Jenee and Doniel Conner; three grandchildren, Aramis (Amber) Kelly, Nasha Kelly and Seth Kelly; two great grandchildren, Tryon Kincade and Derek McNeeley; a special granddaughter Jasmine Boles, four brothers; Wallace "Gator" (Terri), Dr. Kelvin (Jessica) Bradley, Dr. Marvin (Jacqueline) Bradley, and Richard 'Tyrone' Bradley; four sisters, Donna Davis, Patricia "Patty" Bradley, Loretta Bradley, and Arelia "Rico" Bradley; special nephews, Charles Ronald (Lisa) Kelly Jr. and Lamont Owens; a loyal and dedicated friend like no other, George "Skip" Hasenjaeger; two special childhood friends, Angus Cage and William "Sonny Man" Todd; and a host of relatives and friends. Visitation Monday August 17,2020 from 9 to 11:00 a.m. Family hour 10:00-11:00 a.m. Funeral services immediately following at 11:00 a.m. All Services at St. Timothy Community Church 1600 West 25th Avenue Gary, Indiana. Pastor Rahmin Jackson officiating. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. Sadly, due to the pandemic, the church will limit capacity to 167 people. The funeral will however be live steamed at St. Timothy Church.org


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Published by Post-Tribune from Aug. 12 to Aug. 16, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Aug
17
Visitation
9:00a.m. - 11:00a.m.
St. Timothy Community Church
1600 W. 25th Ave., Gary, IN
Aug
17
Funeral service
11:00a.m.
St. Timothy Community Church
1600 W. 25th Ave., Gary, IN
Funeral services provided by:
Guy & Allen Funeral Directors, Inc.
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81 Entries
Another family member gone....rest well with the others.

Dana (Jimmy Miles daughter)
Dana Logan
Family
March 20, 2021
My husband and I are so very sorry to hear the loss of such a really nice and ecdearing man Jimmy was. My husband knew Jimmy as he would pinstripe his vehicles and whenever we would hear he was going to visit we were so glad to see him and hear his wonderful laughter and stories of his excursions. Please except our sorrow in your loss
Mike and Ellen Ohland
Friend
September 29, 2020
Hi, My husband and I were so very sorry to hear the loss of such a nice and endearing man Jimmy was to us. Our relationship was my husband did pinstripping on Jimmys vehicles for many years and we were alway so excited to hear he would be stopping by. We can not tell you how so very sorry we are and how much we will be missing his laughter.
Mike & Ellen Ohland
Friend
September 29, 2020
To the Family of James E. Kelley,
I remember when I worked at Jefferson Elementary School and Mrs. Kelley was our Principal. When we had any celebrations for Awards Day, Teacher Appreciations or for Holidays Mrs. Kelley would place orders and send Mr. Kelley to pick them up. He would always come back with more than she ordered and he would "peep" into the office and tell me to come help him bring the stuff in. I would tell him "you got more than she told you to get, didn't you"?, and he would say "be quiet, she gone hear you". Then I would say "she gone see it in a minute and she gone get you!!! A few minutes later we would hear her say "JAMES", "JAMES"(in her soft voice) and by then he would be almost out the door. That's just the kind of person he was. Mrs. Kelley you are in my prayers. Be Strong and I pray that the many memories you have of James will comfort you as you move forward.
Dora Walker
Coworker
August 27, 2020
Childhood memories run deep. Reflecting on when we skated at Barbara’s Playhouse, and on him, Angus and my late brother Terry Carter jiving on others as was a popular pastime back in the day. Precious memories oh how they linger. I pray that his wife, family and friends will be comforted by their own precious memories. Sincerely, Myra Carter Akins
Myra Akins
Classmate
August 22, 2020
Sincere condolences to the family of our RHS classmate, James. RIP.
"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV) Victoria L. Mosby Price RHS Class of 1966
Victoria Mosby Price
Classmate
August 21, 2020
Uncle Rooks may you RIP. You will truly be missed. I’m so sad that I couldn’t spend time with you again. That’s what hurts so bad. You’re the best “Uncle” anyone can ever have. I have a lot of good memories to hold on to. But God knows I miss you dearly. Gone but not forgotten. You’re such a great person. I’ll always love you.
Tracy Cooper
Friend
August 21, 2020
May God continue to be with your family during these times pops you will be missed ❤
arletha
Friend
August 19, 2020
Rest in piece old friend you lived and loved well. May God cradle your family in their time of grief. You will be sorely missed.
Constance Walker
Friend
August 18, 2020
Alicia & family,

Your husband James is at peace. Think of the good times and smile. For comfort read Ecclesiastes 3:1-15,17,19,20,22. May The Creator bring you peace during this time.
Michael & Ermalene Gault Sr
August 17, 2020
Today you were laid to rest Uncle Jimmy! You are loved and will be missed! Watch over all of us! From what I read and my mom tells me, we had a lot in common when it comes to our hearts! I say Job well done on how you looked out for and loved your family! I know your little bro Tyrone is missing you and the chance to say a formal good bye. Until we meet again Uncle.
Love Arelia and Roberta
Richard “Tyrone” daughters
Arelia Dossous & Roberta Christian
Family
August 17, 2020
R.I.P. Mr. James Kelley aka Rooks aka to me Pops.

I love you and I want the world to know that you was the first person to give Charles "Duke I Got Next "Tanner his first 100 dollar bill when i was 8 years old. You was the first one to tell me how powerful my smile was. You said you are a go getter and you will not let Money be a problem in your life son. You was the first person to tell me as i got older that always make sure your family and friends got it when you got it. You was the first person to teach me about the game chess! You was the one first one to tell me its okay to give up your last because since im the go getter i will get more. them the same. And Pops the day before this I love you and I will make the city of Gary and many other states have Chess in the at-risk areas when i come home just as we plan! ..I love u Pops..I will never ever forget you!
Duke "I Got Next" Tanner
August 17, 2020
GOOD BYE OLE BUDDY, OLE FRIEND, REST IN PARADISE! A SHARP CENTLEMAN FOR THE COMMUNITY, THE CITY, AND THE WORLD.
YTOUR IMAGE AND INFLUENCES WILL STAND FOREVER!!
WE LOVE YOU OLE BUDDY!
Frencey Wilson/Cree henderson
Served In Military Together
August 17, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
The Wiley Family
Acquaintance
August 17, 2020
My sincere condolences to you and your family for Mamie Rooks nephew. GOD Bless You Kelly Rooks..... Your wife and family needed you here but The Almighty GOD needed you more.
Marjol Rush-Collet
August 17, 2020
To the Kelley Family....

My condolences and may James rest in peace.
Clarence Bowens
Friend
August 17, 2020
We send prayers and blessings. Bey Bey we remember your Father fondly. He always had a smile for us, and our parents, Lester and Venita Wise.
Gerald & Myrna Wise Irons and Leslie Wise.
Gerald and Myrna Irons
Friend
August 17, 2020
To my dear Father in LOVE, the kids and I are surely going to miss you! Will miss our FaceTime video chats of you watching Seth swim and play basketball; miss reading your funny texts in ALL CAPS; miss our chats, your continued support and encouragement and the many laughs we shared; our love for “beautiful shoes and clothes” and keeping Seth FRESH just like YOU!...Bal Harbor shopping won’t ever be the same. I hear your voice now, “if that boy doesn’t look just like me”...You know I got Seth, your TWIN and I know you will continue as well from up above. Thank you for the profound impact you’ve had on our lives. Since you couldn’t make it in person, the kids and I will be expecting your spiritual presence poolside Ritz Miami for our cabana day one day real soon!!

As I always would end each letter, each piece of communication...

THE STARS LOOK UP TO YOU POPS!!!
WE LOVE YOU ETERNALLY!

L’Dauya, Seth, Amari and Brendyn
L’Dauya Williams
Daughter
August 17, 2020
To the Family of James E. Kelley:
No one can prepare for a loss. It comes sometimes like a swift wind. But take comfort in knowing that your loved one is now resting in the arms of our Lord, and you now have an angel watching over you. R.I.H. Kelley Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss.
Aurelia & Gregory Weaver
Acquaintance
August 17, 2020
Jimmy was a beautiful spirit I will forever love and miss him rest easy brother in law love Mary
Mary Christian
Family
August 17, 2020
Got to know James "Rooks" Kelley as he and my son Kris Davis were special friends during tough times. Rooks always looked out for Kris. Rooks and I became friends talking often. He will always be remembered and greatly missed. Condolences to the family. RIH Rooks.
Mike (& Kris) Davis & Davis Family
Michael
Friend
August 16, 2020
My deepest condolences to the entire family & friends of the most loving man who lived his life pleasing others James Edward Kelly! James Kelly was Pops to me from day one. He lived life to the fullest and made sure his family and friends was having more fun than him. I will miss him dearly. We stayed in frequent communication sharing dreams & goals. The concerts, plays, fights and Vegas will never be the same. Pops you were a gentle giant that touch so many people. Yes, my heart is hurting but I know you are in a better place. I am thankful we never missed a beat since the day I met you. I only regret not being at the store when you came to surprise me to get your favorite ice cream! Your journey in life was fabulous and now your destination will be Paradise! Pops thank you for always inspiring me. I am so blessed to have the most amazing memories of all the fun times we shared together. You will alway be my Pops! The entire universe will miss you! Your job have just started. I know you are in heaven teaching everybody how to play chess & the best dress. God called for you because he needed some help. May we meet again Pops. I love you! Your daughter from day one to the end. Jackie Jackson
Jackie Jackson
Family
August 16, 2020
Johnny Fort
August 16, 2020
Nathaniel Green
August 16, 2020
To The Family,
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. God bless and comfort you all during this time.
Clarene Robinson-King RHS 1966
Classmate
August 16, 2020
Mrs Kelley and family we are so very saddened by your loss. May God bring comfort and peace to you all. Although, i didn’t know Me Kelley for very long his great spirit, wisdom, and kindness made me feel it was a lifetime. I am thankful to have had the honor. God Bless

“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 NLT
Rita Cushenberry
Friend
August 16, 2020
Always a smile, never a frown. Lifted me up when i was down.
Dawn Darceneaux
Friend
August 16, 2020
Clyde Tucker
August 15, 2020
Our condolences to Alicia and Family,
We're so sorry to hear about your loss.
We've known Jimmy and the Rooks family for many years.
We lived across the street from each other on Fillmore St.
I remember everybody playing cards under the big tree and going to Barbara's skating rink on Broadway.
Jimmy was a nice and kind person who would help anybody know matter what the situation was.
He will be truly missed. God be with you all.
Willa B & Family
Friend
August 15, 2020
a loved one
August 15, 2020
knew him all my life
kenny britt
Friend
August 15, 2020
Alicia, I’m so sorry for your loss! My deepest and heartfelt condolences to you and Family! May you find Comfort in knowing your Beloved Husband is resting in the Arms of JESUS! Hold to GOD’S Unchanging Hand knowing HE does All things well! Sending Love and Prayers!

Victoria Ford
Victoria Ford
Friend
August 15, 2020
Josephine Hood
Friend
August 15, 2020
Marquette Park, 2007
Josephine Hood
Friend
August 15, 2020
Kelley, as we so fondly called him, was one in a million. I've never known anyone like him and can honestly say there will probably never be another. If he passed through your life, he left a positive, yet unbelievable memory to cherish for a lifetime. We are so sad that you're gone when we were just getting to know you better. Rest in peace my friend. We would like Alicia and the family to know that our sincere sympathy and condolences are with you.

Josephine & Wesley Tucker
friends, Atlanta, GA
Josephine Hood
Friend
August 15, 2020
We would like to express our sincere condolences to his wife, Alicia, his family, and the multitude of friends whose lives he touched over the course of his lifetime with us. He was surely one in a million, and there probably will never, ever be another like him. RIP my friend

Josephine & Wesley Tucker
Atlanta, GA
friends
Josephine Hood
August 15, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. Wesley and I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to his wife, Alicia Kelley, his family, and many, many host of friends that knew and loved him.
Josephine Hood
August 15, 2020
RIP...UNCLE KELLEY
GONNA MISS YOU...
Niece Teshia...❤
Teshia Adams
Family
August 15, 2020
So sorry to here of the home going of James. Classmate at Roosevelt High School. Wonderful Gentleman
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Peggy (Smith) Harris
Classmate
August 15, 2020
My Sincere Condolences Sister Alicia...

Kelley a REAL MAN...
Kelley...My Brother...❤
Kelley's SMILE & Bright Light...
Kelley's Way...or You would be on Your way...

Kelley by Any Means Necessary...
Kelley's Word was His BOND...
Kelley...Job Well DONE...

Kelley My Brother called me everyday all day giving me orders of what He want me to do for Him...

Kelley was Truly about FAMILY...
Kelley... Loved Him some ALICIA...
Kelley Loved Life...Loved Good Food... I know that for a Fact cause He ate a many of Mines Loved His Collards Greens & Sweet Potato Pie & Lemon Pound Cake...and Good Times...

KELLEY Loved Chess...Studied the game knew it like the Back of His Hand...

Kelley Loved Giving and Bringing Joy to all of the people especially those that He encounter...

Kelley I Loved You...I know that You Loved Me as Your Sister...
As You once told me well...You have another Brother now "SKIP" Loves You as much as I Do...

Kelley My Brother a Real MAN of the Times...No One ELSE... Like You My Brother... You Walked that Walk...

I'll Miss Your Calls and You bossing Me around early in the morning...

KELLEY My Brother...I WILL & SHALL MISS YOU...BUT NEVER EVER WILL YOU BE FORGOTTEN...

Sincerely,

Ma'Eva

Ma'Eva Adams
Sister
August 15, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Mike
Family
August 15, 2020
Mike Saunders
August 15, 2020
To the family:
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Ruby Hodge-Dent
Classmate
August 14, 2020
I only want too say who I call the one and only Kelly Rooks! that he was always such a nice guy. He will truly be missed.


Cookie Hoskins
Friend
August 14, 2020
My sincere condolences to Alicia and family. I pray the Lord comfort and strengthen you guys during this difficult time.
Vickey Mosley
Friend
August 14, 2020
Alicia, James, Joslyn and family, may God surround you with His Love, Peace and Strength.
Joyce A. Hite and family
August 14, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Mrs. Kelley. You are in my prayers along with Jame's family.
Remedios Markovich
Coworker
August 14, 2020
Leroy
Friend
August 14, 2020
To a Gentleman Gentleman. " Rooks seeing this end this way has been hard. Time spent and Time shared not with goodbyes but a friendship with you; my friend my brother I define with culture, courtesy, an educator and family man a polite name for you came to mind as a servant "Gentleman" with every lesson taught made me too see you always were a winner in love and Nobly loved by many; who just always did it your way with a smile see you later to a priceless friend. Your friend Your brother. Leroy Shannon RIP Rooks
Leroy Shannon
Family
August 14, 2020
One of the realest ever!! R.I.P Uncle Jimmy. Love you so much! You will be forever missed.

Germaica Bradley
Family
August 14, 2020
a loved one
August 14, 2020
Latonda Greenlaw
August 14, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family as Rooks will be forever loved & missed by many. His infectious smile, his giving heart made a difference in so many lives. He was so kind & kept you laughing. Rest in peace my brother. Your journey on this earth __ WELL DONE!
Geraldine (Squeaky) Cash
Friend
August 14, 2020
To Bey Bey and family may God give you strength during this time of bereavement. Praying for you all
Renee Bryson Morrow
August 14, 2020
Mr Kelly's life story was so beautifully written. Nate and I offer our prayers of comfort. We trust that those same memories will guide you through this difficult journey. May our Ancestors rise up and lead the way of peace.
Nate and Robin Shannon
August 14, 2020
Thank you, James Kelley, for the love and legacy by which you will be remembered!
Jesse and Rosie Washington
Rosie Washington
Family
August 14, 2020
Sadly missed, condolences to the family. Praying for all.
Cora Hoskins
Friend
August 13, 2020
May God Bless the Kelley and Rooks families.
Sadie Ethridge
Friend
August 13, 2020
Alicia,
My sincere prayers and condolences are with you. I will keep you uplifted in my prayers.
May the Peace of the Lord be with you always.

Dorothy Preston
Sister Friend
Dorothy Preston
Family
August 13, 2020
Many hearts are broken now and forever. This one right here was bigger than life. Rest In Peace and take care of Skookie for me. Judy Heaven is having a great time now and forever.
Chandler family
Friend
August 13, 2020
One of the GREATEST... FLY HIGH UNC
Ebony Farr
Family
August 13, 2020
True Legend! Rest Up OG
Terrell
August 13, 2020
Rest in peace my brother. Gone, but never will be forgotten. My love and prayers goes out to the family. Joe Pops
August 13, 2020
He was a true friend and gentleman.
Steven Jihad Moten
Friend
August 13, 2020
Thank You My Friend
Percy E. Jones
Acquaintance
August 13, 2020
May memories abound and the love of family surround you and give you strength in the days ahead.
valerie love
Friend
August 13, 2020
Welp rooks you did it your way as frank sinatra would say my near and dear friend you will be truly missed by me and many others rest easy rooks love Theresa Greenlaw (young)
Theresa greenlaw (young)
Friend
August 13, 2020
My sinsere condolences to the family and friends.
Lashung Willis
Classmate
August 13, 2020
My classmate will be missed. He was always so personable, fun (kept you laughing), and a great person. Caring about people, he was always giving and thoughtful. He was a mega dresser and always sharp. RIP
Dr. Peggy Scope
Classmate
August 13, 2020
he was a man whom took care and love everyone his smile was you feel love he would help a stranger he was dependable he love to dance and skate and las vages and to travel and he love to go to plays and concerts and the fight and he was a hell of a chess player he became a brother i never had he always encourage anyone to follow your dream and never give up on it he always had a big besutiful smile lord ❤ know he will be miss the the memories will ladt us forever his favorite words were (family)and(friends for life).r.i.p. twig will take of you he is gone but never forgotton.
Black mary.
Friend
August 12, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Horace Matthews
Friend
August 12, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Belinda Allen
Friend
August 12, 2020
I've know James since the early 60's. my first memory was that he showed my how to buy the best, most comfortable shoes. i.e. reptiles. Being raised in Gary and Chicago, james would show me the best stores to buy my wardrobe. He also drove me to college in 1967 to Indiana State University. R.I.H. my friend...Donald Britt
Donald Britt
August 12, 2020
So sorry he passed away. Rest in Heaven Kelly. Condolences to his family and friends.
Kathy Payne-Hanyard
Friend
August 12, 2020
RIP Kelly Rooks. I will remember your kind heart forever. When my son was 8 months old. My friends going to Coney Island late at nite with my Baby in a Scroller to get the Famous Chili, Dogs and Burgers U said young lady take that Baby home as U sold on Broadway. U always treated those that had less and made them feel bigger.My Son Todd Thompson now 51 years old will always hold U in his heart as well. U showed me in a lot of ways how to be a Mother and a Father. My condolences and my prayes go out to Your Wife and the entire Family at this difficult time. Stay Strong.
Leuna Ward
Acquaintance
August 12, 2020
I love you❤
Jasmine Boles
Grandchild
August 12, 2020
I always called you “Uncle Rooks”, but you meant so much more to me than that. Words can’t express the pain I feel now that you are gone. You taught me so much, and I will cherish those memeories forever. Thank you for believing in me, loving me, taking care of me and my family and friends, and always being there. In our last conversation you told me that I was going places. You told me I was going to have my own and be the greatest thing this world has yet to see coming. You gave me such great advice on how to navigate life and taught me how to play the game just right. You will forever be embedded in my heart. Your smile was so infectious, and you really knew how to light up a room. You loved my nana so much that you took me in too like I was your very own without question. You had such a kind and giving heart, and for that I am eternally grateful to have met such a beautiful person in my life. Rest in peace Uncle Rooks; I will miss you so much❤ -Your special granddaughter
Jasmine Boles
Grandchild
August 12, 2020
To Alicia may God comfort u and give u strength and the family he loved u kelly was like a brother to me my nick name for him was Robin hood I will miss u rest in peace
ALINE SIMINGTON JOYCE
Friend
August 12, 2020
To Alicia beybey and family, condolences. Rest in peace my friend. SALINE
Saline McGuire and FRANCIS family
Friend
August 12, 2020
Condolences to ALICIA ,his son BEY BEY AND FAMILY. REST IN PEACE MY FREIND.
SALINE
Saline McGuire
Friend
August 12, 2020
Rest in Peace James Kelly.
Dorothy Preston
Friend
August 11, 2020
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