Veril Kelly passed away with his “boots on” at the Oregon Veterans Home on March 13. A memorial service will be held on April 19 at 1:00 pm at the Maupin Legion Hall. A community potluck will follow at the Maupin City Park at 5:00 pm to celebrate his life.
Kelly was born on January 10, 1921 along with his twin brother Amos, at the family ranch west of Maupin to Floyd Kelly and Anna Rhode Kelly on a day when the snow was to the top of the fence posts. The boys, who were premature and weighed three pounds each at birth, were placed in a basket behind the potbelly stove to stay warm. After that they did nothing but grow!
Growing up on a ranch during the Great Depression provided plenty to eat and a good place to be a kid. The first school years were at the Kelly School located on section 16 of the Kelly property followed by Wapinitia School. Kelly was in the first graduating class from Maupin High School in 1939. After a few years of working for his dad on the ranch and racing around the country on his motorcycle, World War II came along and Kelly joined the Navy.
Serving in the U.S. Navy as a radar man was one of the highlights of his life and he reminisced about it often. As a plank holder on the USS Block Island, he served in the Atlantic theatre and the invasion of southern France. He subsequently was transferred to the USS Tulagi and served in the Pacific theatre involved in the invasion of the Philippines and Okinawa.
Returning home to the ranch after the war he raised dry land wheat, alfalfa and cattle. In 1951 while at a dance in Wapinitia he met Claire Casey. They were married on October 1, 1952 in The Dalles, Oregon. In addition to ranching he drove school bus, hauled gravel and in later years shuttled cars for river drifters on the Deschutes. He was a devoted family man with a wonderful sense of humor who loved all creatures great and small.
Survivors include daughters Laura (Al) Mitchell of Auburn, Washington and Irene (Jim) Jerome of John Day; granddaughters Amanda Mitchell of Monterey, Cal and Katherine Mitchell of Ellensburg, Wash; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Claire and daughter Helen McGranahan.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Southern Wasco County Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 125, Maupin, OR 97037 or Juniper Flat Rural Fire Protection District, 80501 Hwy 216, Maupin, OR 97037.
Information from The Chronicle and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)