Elbert Leo Kelley, II

12/17/1932 — 04/04/2014

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Old Hickory, TN

Elbert Leo Kelley, II

E.L. Kelley December 17, 1932 - April 4, 2014

E.L. Kelley, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and endless friend peacefully passed away on April 4. He was at his home surrounded by family and friends after two years of a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Kelley was born in Old Hickory, Tennessee to Elbert Leo Kelley, Sr. and Hazel Jones Kelley on December 17, 1932. Kelley and his two siblings Betty and Barbara were raised in Richland, Washington after their father moved to Hanford to serve the Manhattan Project.

A "Bomber" who graduated from Columbia High in 1950, Kelley then attended David Lipscomb University in Tennessee and Pepperdine University in California before joining the Air Force. He finalized his Bachelor of Science degree at Abilene Christian College in Texas. During his tenure in the Air Force he was promoted to Staff Sargent – impressive for less than four years in the military. He returned to the Tri-Cities where he raised his family, held an established career and retired after 30-plus years at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Kelley lived life with grace, humility, and love for all. His competitive edge kept him actively engaged in a variety of sports and adventures ranging from basketball, fast pitch softball, and his daring "manures" as a pilot – to winning numerous field trial championships with AKC registered hunting dogs – to his final love of golf where he bought his home on the Meadows Springs golf course. Kelley loved the golf course and membership where he contributed as a Board member and was the Club President for two years.

While very logical and analytical, Kelley always maintained a sense of humor and loved laughter. His logic was overshadowed by his love for family and friends. He adored his children, grandchildren and marveled over his great-grandchildren. Invited by a dear friend in 1997 to vacation in Cabo, Kelley continued to go each year with the "gang" to golf, laugh, and build wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Kelley is survived by his wife Susan – soul mates who complimented each other in numerous ways. Kelley is also survived by six children united in love and friendship – Linda Petrilli husband Ric, daughter Nicole, husband Erik and children Aiden, Ava and Asher, Michael Kelley children Megan and Jackson, Debra Hovley husband Ben, children Jared and Kelsey, Jenny Diaz, husband Pedro, children Isaac and Emily, Julie Lindstrom husband Casey, children Taylor and Chase, and Andy Stitt wife Melynda, children Ian, Sophie and Drew. Kelley is also survived by his first wife, Joyce Johnson, and sister, Barbara Riggs. Kelley was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Betty Tuggle.

A "Celebration of Life" will be held on Friday, April 11th at 6:00pm at Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland. A private inurnment will be held with family at Sunset Memorial Gardens at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center or the Kennewick Humane Society would be greatly appreciated.

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Elbert Leo Kelley, II

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  • Kelley was a friend and mentor for many years. A class act who always had a gentle and kind word. Sincere condolences to Susan and the family. He will be remembered and missed.

    Janet & Dave Bryant
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Kelley was, and always will be, a very special person to me. I am fortunate to have had him in my life. I will forever remember his smiling blue eyes and sense of humor along with his analytical and logical approach to life. I also thank him for my introduction to and love of the game of golf. My condolences to Susan, Debbie and the rest of his beloved family and all of his many friends. Thank you all for being there for him through the years.

    Robin Madison
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, Us
  • To Susan and family I extend my condolences on your loss of Kelley, but mostly I thank you for having shared him with us. We got to know know what a grand person he was.

    In short, he was a winner.

    Marc Henderson
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • EL was my boss years ago at Battelle early in my career, and I recall many of the lessons he taught me. He always made me feel supported and valued. He truly was a man of “grace, humility, and love for all.” A real class act, and I will miss him. My condolences to his family who I know he loved so much.

    Robert Nielson
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • My condolences to Susan and the entire Kelley family. I did not know EL but if he was good enough for Susan he must have been pretty good.

    Joe Guyette
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Kelley was a friend and mentor for many years. A class act who always had a gentle and kind word. Sincere condolences to Susan and the family. He will be remembered and missed.

    Janet & Dave Bryant
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Kelley was, and always will be, a very special person to me. I am fortunate to have had him in my life. I will forever remember his smiling blue eyes and sense of humor along with his analytical and logical approach to life. I also thank him for my introduction to and love of the game of golf. My condolences to Susan, Debbie and the rest of his beloved family and all of his many friends. Thank you all for being there for him through the years.

    Robin Madison
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, Us
  • To Susan and family I extend my condolences on your loss of Kelley, but mostly I thank you for having shared him with us. We got to know know what a grand person he was.

    In short, he was a winner.

    Marc Henderson
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • EL was my boss years ago at Battelle early in my career, and I recall many of the lessons he taught me. He always made me feel supported and valued. He truly was a man of “grace, humility, and love for all.” A real class act, and I will miss him. My condolences to his family who I know he loved so much.

    Robert Nielson
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • My condolences to Susan and the entire Kelley family. I did not know EL but if he was good enough for Susan he must have been pretty good.

    Joe Guyette
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Susan,

    Our sincerest condolences with the loss of Elbert, EL or just Kelley!!

    We had some times.

    Your Friends Always,

    Byrne & Jill

    Byrne Haskins
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family during this difficult time. I only had the privilege of meeting Kelley once, but during that one time, he had a constant smile on his face. He was surrounded by all his loved ones and celebrated his 80th birthday. My condolences to all his loved ones.

    Sadie Gajdos
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA
  • Susan, I am so sorry to hear of E L’s death. Doug would always want to go down and talk to E L. Doug always found comfort in it. It is ironic that they should go so close together. I am sure that they are golfing as we speak. One good thing is that they no longer have those terrible diseases .

    LaRayne Jackson
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • I only met Kelley a couple times, but he had such a pleasant demeanor, so welcoming and interested in getting to know you. Your family is in my prayers.

    Katie Boler
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA
  • We were saddened to learn of E.L.’s passing. He was a wonderful man, an admirable man of wisdom and a man who was much loved by everyone. We will miss him very much and never forget him.

    Dolly & Kurt Ammann
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, United, States
  • My Dear Susan and Family,

    What a surprise for Joel when he is jetting around the Heavens and he runs into Kelley! Can’t you just see Frank Rogers, why they are going to have a dandy time.

    Life has dealt us some very unfair blows these past few years. My belief has always been that when we lose a loved one, they become a bright star in the sky. You pick the one you think is the brightest and you always look to that one for support and guidance. My heart is with you during this time. I give you strenth as you face the days ahead. I know Kelley is watching from above with that twinkle in his eye.

    Lots of love and friendship – Niki

    Niki Solis
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US