On August 12, 2020, the world lost a most unique and amazing spirit. Always one to tell a good story, Jimmy Duane Kelley guided his friends and family by imparting life lessons with humor.
From the age of 24, he worked as a geologist, allowing him to travel all over the world to places such as Venezuela, Mexico, British Colombia, and Europe. The last 16 years of his career, he held the position of Vice President of Exploration Geology in Fort Worth for Chemical Lime, retiring in 2007. After retirement, his career became cows, cars, brewing beer, and spending quality time with his wife, Jo Nell at their ranch. Married in 1976, he and Jo Nell made their first home in Portland, Oregon, then later in Tulsa, Oklahoma, eventually ending up back in their home state of Texas. Jim loved to dance with Jo Nell, with people often remarking they only saw one person on the dance floor, as he towered over her. His passion for cars and motorcycles led him to many race tracks, car shows and culminated in him building a custom 1958 Chevrolet truck that won many prizes and was featured in a truck magazine. Always one to try new things, his enthusiasm for science and travel inspired him to learn to brew beer. For those that had the privilege to taste his brews, they could be compared to the best Belgium has to offer. He was surrounded by a special network of friends from his childhood in Blum, Texas. Their friendship was so extraordinary it continued throughout their lives.
He was happiest sitting by Jo Nell’s side enjoying the sunset with a good cigar, and a smooth whiskey at their ranch.
Born May 1, 1950, in Stamford, TX, he is survived by his wife Jo Nell, his niece Monica and her spouse Tony Rafaelle; his great-nephew Ian Jennings and wife Taylor; his brother-in-law, Anthony Piazza, Sr and his wife Theresa; His nephews, Anthony and Michael Piazza and their wives Jennifer and Kendra. Other survivors include a host of cousins and friends. Jimmy is preceded in death by his mother, Martha Walls, and brother Rick Kelley.
A celebration of life will be on Saturday August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am at Lawson Funeral Home in Meridian, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to The American Parkinson Disease Association in his honor.
Arrangements were made by Lawson Funeral Home, Meridian, Texas 254-435-2792.
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