Thomas  Kelley

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Thomas Earl Kelley passed away peacefully at his home of natural causes on Sunday morning August 25th, 2019.

Thomas was born on May 26, 1941 in Welsh, LA to David Kelley and Helen (Stewart) Kelley. He graduated from Will Rogers High School in 1959 and served honorably in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1967 as an Electricians Mate. After his service to his country, Thomas began working for American Airlines where through his efforts had become a mechanical crew chief until his retirement after 31 years. Shortly before he set his career off while departing the Navy in San Diego, he met Sandra (Markham) Kelley, and got married at the Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada while traveling back to his beloved home state of Oklahoma, specifically the Green Country area. They ultimately settled in Claremore where they raised four sons - Brian, Thomas, Jerry and Joseph. After 37 years of marriage, Thomas lost Sandra to cancer. He later met and married Judy (Key) Kelley through her work at the Nut House.

Thomas was a humble tinkerer, coin collector, traveler and recycler. He loved to help the community by collecting cans and breaking down machines to recycle for the parts or metals for future use either for himself, family, friends or commercial industry. His greatest passion was understanding trains - he loved learning about trains and collecting model trains for his hand crafted train display accurately depicting the railroad industry. He was a proud fan of the OU Sooners and couldn't get enough of college football which was often playing in the background while he tinkered away at this project or that in his garage. Off season, he would still follow baseball and many other sports while pining away for the next football season. He was known for his quick wit, his infectious laughter, and his kind and compassionate spirit. He was also a very shrewd poker player and enjoyed several trips to various casinos with great fondness of Cripple Creek, CO for the nickel slots.

Thomas was preceded in death by his parents, David and Helen, his siblings Keith, David and Carol, his wives Sandra and Judy and his son Brian. He is survived by his sons Thomas and fiancee Tammy Barclay of Tulsa, OK; Jerry and wife Cheri Kelley of East Hampton, CT; Joseph and wife Yuhee Kelley of Fort Bragg, NC; his step-son, Michael "Tony" Key of Claremore, OK; and his sister Rae (Kelley) McGuire of Skiatook, OK; as well as many grand-children, nieces, and nephews. A graveside funeral service will be held on Friday, August 30th, 2019 at the Woodlawn Cemetery of 310 S. Nome, Claremore, at 10 a.m. Donations on his behalf may be sent to the Boy Scouts of America.
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Published on August 28, 2019
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1 posts

Carol-Ann Neal
Aug 30, 2019
So sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. He and your mother did a very nice job of bringing up
"the boys". Although, I never got to meet him myself, I can tell by them that he was a great father. I'm sure he will be missed.