On December 23, 2021, while surrounded by his family, Richard E. Kelly, age 77, son of Leo and Avonelle (Harkins) lost his valiant battle with cancer and won in his reward to be with his Lord and Savior.
Upon Dick’s return from the Vietnam War, there were no parades or words of praise. His family finds solace in knowing that as he entered heaven, there was a parade of angels welcoming him home. Dick was proud to be a member of the U.S. Air Force and a Vietnam Veteran. He refused to be bitter or angry, even though Agent Orange caused the cancer that ultimately took his life. We find peace in knowing that he is no longer in pain or dealing with the horror of PTSD.
His wife of 51 years and love of his life, Linda (Cramer) Kelly, is left with the challenge of finding joy in a life without her husband. She has to do this because she told Dick that she would and her happiness meant everything to him. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Charlie Kelly and fiancé Jennifer of Homer City; David Kelly and fiancé Angela of Monessen; and Sherry Rolls and husband Bill from Indiana. Four grandchildren, Colby, Mariah and her fiancé Christopher, Mya and Ava. Two great-grandchildren, Nevaeh Sky and Asher. Two siblings, Carol (Dick) Brown and Donna (Rod) Carnahan. And, seven sisters-in-law that treated Dick like a brother. They are Millie Dunmire, Regina (Bill) Miller, Carmen Loveday, Earlene Cramer, Doris (Jim) Anderson, Margie (Butch) Hayes and Pauline (Ed) Fairman. His L & M Campground family and numerous nieces and nephews including his loving niece, Denise (Sam) Buzzinotti and his favorite doctor, Zach.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his in-laws, Harry and Leora Cramer, sister Shirley and brothers-in-law, Ron, Ted, Don and Harry.
Dick was proud to be member of the Homer City American Legion Post 493, Club Savoy, a lifetime member of the Red Barn Sportsman Club, the Coral Graceton Sportsman Club, VFW Post #1989 and a Masonic Shriner Scottish Rite 32nd degree.
During his lifetime, Dick was employed at Syntron, McCreary Tire and Rubber Company and a Police Officer for Homer City Borough. The most important purpose in his life was to help others in all ways possible. If there was a need, he would do everything in his power to take care of it. He would do so without being asked or expecting a thank you. If Dick was a part of your life, you were never alone. He would patiently do whatever was needed and silently slip away.
His family and friends are certain that he missed his true calling in life and that calling was to be a Comedian. He never left a conversation without a funny comment, joke or silly observation. Just days before his passing, he helped his family write this obituary (true story). When they were done working on the obituary, he said, “Do you know how you make water holy? You boil the hell out of it!” Everyone in the room burst out in laughter. His ability to make others laugh in any situation was truly a gift.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests you extend a random act of kindness or share a joke or two. He asked that we share this quote with all of you because he believes we all have the ability to spread joy, “Some of you are unaware of just how amazing you really are. The way you make people laugh, lift others up, or spread extra love. You do this even though you are struggling too, and I think it makes you such a beautiful human being.” Keep spreading love and laughter in his memory.
Friends will be received at the Bowser Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Homer City, on Tuesday from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM. On Tuesday at 7:00 PM, the Homer City Fire Department will be doing a service to honor Dick. Visitation will also be held on Wednesday from 11:00 AM until the time of the funeral service at 1 PM. The funeral will be held at the Bowser Funeral Home Chapel, Homer City. Burial with military honors will be at the Armagh Cemetery with the Reverend Bob Dunsmore officiating.
The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of the VA Hospital of Altoona, IRMC and VNA Hospice Care for their kindness, support and care during the end stages of Dick’s life.
If you choose, the family would enjoy seeing those attending wearing something patriotic (red, white, blue, flags, eagles, veteran, etc.) to honor Dick’s military service and his love of the USA.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Edwin Kelly, please visit our floral store.