James L. Kelley

JEFFERSON – James L. Kelley, 59, of Route 46 South, died Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2001, at his home, following seven months of illness with cancer.

He was born May 29, 1942, in Canton, to Roy J. and Irene (Toot) Kelley. He was raised in Carrollton and graduated from Carrollton High School. Mr. Kelley had lived in Jefferson since 1965, coming from Columbiana County. He married Carole E. Linard on Feb. 8, 1964, in Scio.

Mr. Kelley was a 35-year employee of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. He worked as a wildlife investigator, and served as the Ashtabula County Wildlife Officer from 1965 to 1985, retiring in 1997. He received the Shikar-Safari International Award for Ohio Wildlife Officer of the Year in 1977.

Mr. Kelley was a member of Jefferson United Methodist Church. He was a part of Tuscan Lodge 342, Free & Accepted Masons, where he served as master in 1976; Royal Arch Masons, Jefferson Chapter; and Scottish Rite, Valley of Cleveland. He was past president of the Jefferson Rotary Club, and was head of the bean soup project for the Covered Bridge Festival.

He also was a member of the Ohio Division of Wildlife Game Protector Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the National Rifle Association, and a charter member of Fraternal Order of Police, Lakeshore Lodge 114. He was a Red Cross volunteer blood donor. Mr. Kelley enjoyed woodworking, turkey and rabbit hunting, trapping, yard work, reading and traveling. He loved to putter with anything that needed attention.

Survivors include his wife, Carole; two sons, Brian J. of Howland Township, and D. Christopher of Clayton, N.C.; two grandchildren, Michaela M. and Matthew J. Kelley; two step-grandchildren, Theora A. and Nicole L. Humphrey; and a brother, William R. of Olmsted Township.
He was preceded in death by his parents.

Service is 11 a.m. Saturday at Jefferson United Methodist Church, 125 E. Jefferson St., Jefferson, officiated by the Rev. Meredith Coleman as well as the Rev. Ronald Mowry of Strongsville United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Oakdale Cemetery, Jefferson.

Calling hours are 1 to 3 and 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Fleming Funeral Home Inc., 49 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, where FOP Lodge 114 will hold a service at 8:45 p.m., and Tuscan Lodge 342 will hold a Masonic service at 9 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the memorial fund of Jefferson United Methodist Church, 125 E. Jefferson St., Jefferson 44047; or to Hospice of Ashtabula County, 2420 Lake Ave., Ashtabula 44004. Envelopes available at the funeral home and church.