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Obituary: Thomas Edward Kelley


Thomas Edward Kelley, 84, of Madison, FL, passed away peacefully on the evening of Thursday, February 20, 2020, at his home in Madison, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family as he took his last breath on this earth.


Ed was born on Mother’s Day, May 12, 1935, to parents JLynn and Ada (Pickels) Kelley, at their home in Madison. He graduated from Madison High School in 1954, and married the same year to his high school-sweetheart, Sarah Lorena (Seals) Kelley. Less than a year later, Ed joined the U.S. Army, serving with the 35th Field Artillery, 10th Infantry Division, Conn Barracks, in Schweinfurt, Germany, from January 1955 to November 1956. Ed worked at the paper mill in Clyattville, GA for 41 years, retiring as the Superintendent of the wood yard.


Ed lived the majority of his life with his wife Lorena in the home they built in Madison. He was a Deacon and member of Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church. He could often be found working on carpentry projects in his shop, tinkering with his ultra-lite airplane, or helping his family. He enjoyed trips to Dekle and Keaton Beach, where he fished, hunted scallops, and taught his progeny to do the same. During his free time at home, Ed enjoyed listening to music, from Chet Atkins to traditional Hawaiian slack-key guitar. He had many monikers; known affectionately as Ed, Edward, Uncle Ed, Daddy, Granddaddy, Pop, and Poppy.Ed is survived by his wife of 65 years Sarah Lorena (Seals) Kelley, of Madison, FL; two children: Thomas Edward Kelley II (Tamma Oliver), of Madison, daughter Pamela Susan Jones (Dewey “Buddy”), of Madison; six grandchildren: Jason Culpepper (Brandy), of Keystone Heights, FL, Christopher Jones (Michelle), of Valdosta, GA, Tom Kelley, of Lake Worth Beach, FL, Sarah Reynolds (Sam), of Fort Myers, FL, Levi Kelley (Stacy Hewitt), of Lawrenceville, GA, Maggie Kelley (Justin Harris), of Madison; twelve great-grandchildren: David McKellps, Noah Jones, Addison Jones, Bryson Jones, Elijiah Kelley, Michaela Jones, Audrey Reynolds, Alexis Kelley, Dalton Spittle, Autumn Reynolds, Logan Jones, Adeline Reynolds; sister Dorothy Wiggins, of Valdosta; and a multitude of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Ed was preceded in death by his parents, JLynn and Ada Kelley.


Family, friends, and others whose lives Ed touched are invited to attend a funeral service, to be held on Sunday, February 23rd, at Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church, located at 4084 Rocky Ford Rd, in Madison. Visitation begins at 2 PM, followed by a service at 3 PM, which will be officiated by Pastors Tom Studstill and Sam Reynolds.

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