John Vernon Kelley

Our father, John Vernon Kelley, passed away Aug. 31, 2022 just 11 days shy of his 88th birthday.
 Vernon was born in Weiser, Idaho on Sept. 11, 1934 to John Wesley and Gertrude Caroline Kelley. 
 He was the first of four children followed by siblings Maxine, Albert, and Vaughn.   
 He grew up on the family farm east of Weiser not far from where his great- grandparents settled after coming West
 Vernon attended Jeffrey’s School House from first to eighth grade. Jeffrey’s School House was located in Vernon’s childhood neighborhood, a neighborhood which Vernon had many special memories of neighbors like Eva Breshears and Guy Galloway, the annual Christmas programs, and pick-up basketball games in the Thorsen barn on Cove Road were just a few of the people and memories that Vernon would look back fondly on throughout his life.
 Vernon graduated from Weiser High School in 1952. From 1952 to 1957 Vernon held various jobs, ending up in Seattle working for Boeing Airlines until he was drafted into the military on April 24, 1957. Vernon would serve in the Army Reserve until August 1962. 
 While serving, Vernon was stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington and at Fort Riley in Kansas.  During that time, Vernon met many people who left a lifelong impact on him.  
 On Nov. 6, 1960 Vernon married Marilyn Millie Barton. The new couple moved to the Weiser Flat the fall of 1963.  
 In 1973 Vernon and Marilyn purchased a 1,500 acre dryland ranch from Cartter and Anna Hilliard. That purchase was a core-life accomplishment for both Vernon and Marilyn.  They were able to raise cattle and sheep while putting up 100 acres of dryland hay each year. It was hard work that they found a great deal of pride and joy from. 
 While running the dry land ranch, Vernon also had a lengthy employment with Washington County Road and Bridge which lasted from 1959 to Vernon’s retirement in 1996.  Vernon took great pride in being a road grader operator for the County. Through his work, Vernon was able to help many ranchers clear roads and barnyards in order to get feed to livestock during the winter months.  Neighbors often shared their appreciation through warm snacks, hot coffee and a quick conversation before Vernon was back in the grader and back to work.  
 Vernon took great pride in his work ethic, very rarely taking time off.  When those occasions did occur it was to sneak up to Indian Creek, outside of Council, Idaho, to fish for a few days.  
 While Vernon was happiest when working, that did not mean he wasn’t an avid sports fan when “off the clock.” Vernon was especially interested in local high school sports, specifically basketball and football. Vernon enjoyed traveling to watch games and was always a pro at remembering game scores and player stats.  
 Anyone who knew Vernon knew he was never at a loss for words. Be it family updates, local weather, sporting news or usual ranching topics, Vernon was eager to visit with anyone he knew. Many will miss those lively conversations, specifically the family that Vernon leaves behind.
 Vernon was blessed with and is survived by three daughters, Linda Walker, Karen Kay Kelley, and Kimberly DeAnn Gibbs and three stepsons, William Aaron Keeney, Nathaniel Lee Keeney and Robin Kim Keeney,  13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
 Family members would also like to extend a special thank you and deep appreciation to The Cottages of Weiser for the last six years of care they provided Vernon. A special thank you to Ellie, Ana, Sam, April, Luis and Gabby for the kindness and love you showed Vernon in his last years.
 There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 at the Jeffrey School House on Cove Road in Weiser at 11 a.m. with a meal to follow. All are welcome.
 

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Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718
 

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