Harry C. 'Kelly' Kelleher

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Harry Clement Kelleher, Jr., known as “Kelly” to many of his friends and family, passed away peacefully on June 23, 2020, at his home in San Diego, Calif., with his wife of 60 years, Joyce, at his side. Kelly was born on Sept. 16, 1925, in Volga, to Harry and Mary (Connor) Kelleher. He was a graduate of St. Joseph Catholic High School in Elkader and he also attended the University of Iowa. 

Kelly enlisted in the Army while still a teenager and he served as a private first class in Company C in the 424th Infantry in World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge. 

On Feb. 14, 1960, he married Joyce Conner in Keokuk. Kelly worked as a salesperson for Liggett and Myers but spent most of his career selling rugs for Edward Lacey Mills. He was an avid fisherman and golfer. His favorite place to fish was the Turkey River and he spent many years in Elkader fishing with beloved family and friends. He and Joyce moved to California in the 1960s, and they settled in their current home in San Diego in 1986. Although they did not have children, “Uncle Kelly” was a favorite uncle of his many nieces and nephews as well as their spouses, children and grandchildren. He was also a good friend to too many people to name, in particular their neighbors of the past 18 years, Larry and Betty Allen. 

Kelly is survived by his wife Joyce and his sister Petrene Poss of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his siblings Colleen Sullivan, Joanne, Catherine, Gerry, John, Dodie Bass and Judy Yeast. 

The family would like to thank Kelly’s devoted caregivers, skilled nursing, hospital and hospice staff for taking such good care of him these past few weeks. 

In lieu of flowers, Joyce has requested making a donation to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Elkader. 

A funeral mass followed by burial will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elkader on Friday, July 17, at 10 a.m.

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