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Joseph "Mike" Michael Kelley
March 29, 1954 ~ October 16, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old
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Joseph Michael Kelley, 69, of Columbia, Missouri; most often referred to as Mike, Dad, and Papa, died peacefully in the quietude of his hospital room at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri on Monday, October 16th, surrounded by his loving family; a circle that will never be broken.
Mike was born into this world, making it a brighter and happier place, on March 29, 1954, in Boonville, Missouri to Kenny and Erna Bowling Kelley.
Mike attended Boonville Public Schools until his Junior year in High School when his family moved to Hallsville, Missouri. It was in the halls of Hallsville High School that he met the love of his life, Debbie Elkin, later marrying her on August 2, 1975.
Mike served the United States Air Force in the early 1970s, which included tours of duty in Guam and Okinawa.
After his service he held several positions in various fields and later Mike established and operated Liquid One Financial Services LLC which he retired from last year.
Mike leaves, in the comfort of fond and loving memories, his devoted and caring wife, Debbie, their children, Jay (Edith) Kelley, Kitt Graves (Cal) and grandchildren, Mac and Jack Kelley, and Emmie, Will and Bo Graves, all of Columbia, Missouri. Mike also leaves several nieces and nephews who have many stories to cherish about him as an uncle.
If you knew Mike, you know that he never met a stranger and was extremely knowledgeable about local and world events and news. He could carry on, at least, a one hour highly intellectual conversation on just about any topic. He was an advocate for liberty of thought and speech and was a huge supporter of the Democratic party.
Above all, Mike enjoyed spending time with his family and friends; a lot of that time spent at their Lake of the Ozark home and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events, strumming on his guitar, and attending concerts. He had an undying love of music and vast knowledge of musical trivia. He had a passion for foreign cars and Harley Davidson motorcycles, owning more than several throughout his life. Mike had a kind and generous soul, always helping others along the way.
He was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs and the Missouri Tigers and rarely missed a game.
To quote one of Mike’s nephews, “He Lived his life just how I think we all should; maybe he did it exactly right.”
As a reminder to all who have lost someone they loved, as deeply as Mike’s family loved him, remember “It’s not something you get over, it’s something you get through.” (Willie Nelson)
Mike was preceded in death by one sibling, Debbie Carey, and his parents Kenny and Erna Kelley.
Mike is also survived by one sister, Cindy Hohn (Kevin) of Winfield, Missouri and one brother, Pat Kelley (Linda) of St. Genevieve, Missouri and sisters-in-law, Elaine George (Ray) and Kena Elkin Forbis of Hallsville and Nena Kallenbach (John) of Lake of the Ozarks and a host of wonderful nieces and nephews.
Our beloved Mike will be missed beyond measure.
A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday the 24th of October, 2023 from 4-8 p.m. at the Country Club of Columbia, 2210 North Country Club Drive, Columbia, MO 65201.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Mike’s honor to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge St. Louis. raiseyourway.donordrive.com.