US Coast Guard

Robert Lee Kelley

December 1, 1924 ~ June 24, 2020 (age 95)


Robert Lee Kelley, 95, of Lawrenceburg, IN, formerly of Rising Sun, passed away on June 24, 2020 at Shady Nook Care Center in Lawrenceburg, IN. He was born in Ohio County on December 1, 1924, the son of Mort David Kelley and Nellie Milton (Bailey) Kelley. He was a graduate of Rising Sun High School, Class of 1943. Bob served in the US Merchant Marines from January 1, 1944 to August, 1946, earning an honorable discharge from both Merchant Marines and US Coast Guard He reminisced quite often about his time in the service, traveling to Venezuela, France, England, Sweden and many places on the East and Southern Coast of the US. After returning from the service, Bob married Thelma Elizabeth Carpenter on May 21, 1948. They were married 72 years at the time of his death. To this union, a daughter was born, Connie L. Kelley Sharp. Bob and Thelma were long time members of the Rising Sun Church of Christ, Bob joining in 1948 and Thelma joining in 1943. Bob worked at Joseph E. Seagram’s for 40 years, retiring in 1986, only missing 4 days in 40 years. During his life, Bob joined the Masons and received his 50 year pin in 1999. Bob joined the Rising Sun Cemetery Board in 1990 and later became the president in 1991 for more than 20 years, retiring in 2011. In 1993, Bob’s Dad gave him an idea of placing flags on all Veterans graves for Memorial Day each year. Bob and fellow member, Ed Billingsley, placed 62 flags on known Veterans that first year. He was told recently that over (900??) flags are now placed on crosses at the court house each Memorial Day. He was always quite proud of that idea. After his retirement from Seagram’s in 1986, he and his best friend Dean Carrigan, enjoyed volunteering at Hoosier Boy, building a kitchen among other projects. His other favorite pastimes were watching TV shows with a special fondness for watching golf. After caring for his wife for several years, she entered Shady Nook Nursing Home and at that time, Bob moved to Lawrenceburg to be closer to his family. His heart always continued to be in Rising Sun. No one loved that town more than he. One of his proudest moments was being able to go on the Honor Flight in 2006 with good friend, Paul Leive and other WW2 Veterans. He enjoyed that trip and loved talking about it and the honors he was bestowed from the Aurora Farmers Fair and the Rising Sun American Legion for being a WW2 Veteran. He leaves to mourn, his wife Thelma Kelley, daughter, Connie (Jerry) Sharp, two granddaughters, Angela Schwarz, Michelle (Eric) Tufts, five great grandchildren, Jake, Aneesa and Brooklyn Schwarz and Drew and Brady Tufts, two nieces, Donna (John) Burckle of Cincinnati, OH and Sally Taylor of Lawrenceburg, special mention to best friend for almost 80 years, Dean Carrigan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mort and Nell Kelley and his only brother, Melvin (Bill) Kelley.

Services for Bob will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or to the Alzheimer's Association. Markland Funeral Home of Rising Sun, IN serving the family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Lee Kelley, please visit our floral store.


Family to do services at later date


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856

Alzheimer's Association
225 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60601
Tel: 1-800-272-3900

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