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Gene Douglas Kelly

October 23, 1927 - June 21, 2020



Gene Douglas Kelly of Harrietta passed away Sunday morning, June 21, 2020 at Whispering Pines in Lake City. He was 92.

Gene was born October 23, 1927 in Baker City, Oregon to Virgil William and Louise (Wirth) Kelly.

Mr. Kelly graduated from Forest Union High School in Forest Grove, Oregon. He honorably served in the Army during World War II, spending a year in Germany as a military policeman. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Michigan. Mr. Kelly was proud of his military heritage; having ancestors that served in the Civil War, Revolutionary War and Vietnam. Gene was proud of his Northern, Michigan roots. Hi mother was born in Tustin, and his great-grandfather, John. E. Kelly, taught school in Cadillac from 1867-1875.

Mr. Kelly taught at University of Michigan, Ohio University and Washington State University. Later, worked as an automotive designer for General Motors and as consultant/ designer for other manufacturers, retiring in 1993. Mr. Kelly enjoyed ceramics, high-fire pottery, having had exhibits at art galleries and museums. He was a long distance runner, competed in dozens of races, and was the Harrietta 5K organizer for many years. Mr. Kelly enjoyed radio control airplanes, trout and fly fishing, cross country skiing and bicycling.

On October 22, 1955 Gene married Joan Spolyar at her parents’ house in Harrietta and Joan survives him along with their children: Allen (Leann Landry- Kelly) Kelly of Edgewater, Maryland, Coreen (Robert) Robins of Bellingham, Washington, Tamsen (David) O’Grady of Harrietta, Michigan, Brian (Susan) Kelly of Grosse Pointe, Michigan; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren with another on the way.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings: Slyvia “June” Kelly, Virgil Kelly, Jr., and Mary LaSalle; cousin, Army Warrant Officer Gordon Wirth, Jr. killed in Vietnam in 1971 and a niece, Marcie Webber.

A memorial mass will take place 10:0 AM Saturday, July 11, 2020 at Saint Ann Catholic Church in Cadillac with Rev. Fr. Michael Janowski as celebrant. Friends may meet the family prior to the service. Mr. Kelly’s final resting place will be Sixteen Cemetery in Harrietta.

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  • Dan & Carolyn Plumb & Bruce Willams - Jun 27th, 2020 4:59 pm

    "Gene was such an amazing man. He had such a kind soul. May he RIP. Our condolences to the entire family. Much love ❤️ "

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