Fred Kelly, Jr.

Obituary of Fred Kelly, Jr.

Fred Kelly Jr, known to most as “Sonny”, passed from this life on February 12, 2021. Sonny was born September 2, 1931 in Sherrill, Arkansas to Maydie and Sherman Kelly. He was the second of four children and is survived by his younger brother, Willie S. (Pokey) Kelly. Sonny was preceded in death by his wife Theobia L. Kelly, his sons Greg Kelly and Royce Ogburn, and his daughter Freddie Mae Davis. Sonny is survived by a large family and a host of friends. He was particularly close to his granddaughter, Aleigha Kelly, who aided in his personal care in recent years. Sonny was also close to his daughters Thea, Rosa and Freddie Mae, his sons Dwight, Shawn and Michael and his grandchildren Julian Bundle, Theron (Courtney) Brooks, Imani Kelly, Sherry and Steven Kelly and great-granddaughter Aline (Toy) Wilkins. Sonny enlisted in the United States Army at an early age and served for many years before being honorably discharged. Though he retired as a semi-truck driver, Sonny owned several businesses throughout the years, including an auto repair shop, a record store and the most popular bar lounge in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He was also a very active member of many organizations, including The Old Timers Club, The American Legion 410, The Twilighters at Bible Baptist Church and The Naptown Riders. A gregarious man, Sonny was very blunt and sometimes even crass. At the same time, he was also a family man, loving and protective - especially of his Momma and sister Rosalie Deleveaux (fondly known as “babysistah”, even though she was the oldest). Among his many talents, he was a smart, intuitive handyman and even great a cook. There was nothing Sonny could not do. Colorful in both personality and appearance, Sonny was a true showman in every sense of the word. He never met a stranger and spent his life sharing himself without reservation. Sonny filled every room he entered and truly captivated anyone who had the privilege of knowing him. Sonny slowed his pace after retirement, but never lost his zest for life. His personality still so vibrant, the staff at his nursing home affectionately referred to him as ‘Casanova’. Sonny accepted Christ at an early age and renewed this relationship in 2002. He was baptized at Bible Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, where he remained a member until his death.
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Thursday
25
February

Family and Friends Gathering

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Bible Baptist Church
1700 Drake Road
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
EXECUTIVE ORDER Michigan Funeral Directors Association recommends limiting all funeral events to TWENTY-FIVE 25 people or less in a single indoor shared space. A MASK IS EXPECTED DURING TIME OF SERVICE.
Thursday
25
February

Funeral Service

12:00 pm
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Bible Baptist Church
1700 Drake Road
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
EXECUTIVE ORDER Michigan Funeral Directors Association recommends limiting all funeral events to TWENTY-FIVE 25 people or less in a single indoor shared space. A MASK IS EXPECTED DURING TIME OF SERVICE.
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