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Joseph's Story

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Joseph John Kelly Sr., age 93, of Joplin, Mo., passed away Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, at Spring River Christian Village, in Joplin.
Joseph was born in Pittsburg, Kan., on Nov. 18, 1924, to the late Patrick H. and Florence (Wiedeman) Kelly. His father died when he was only nine years old and the family moved to Joplin. Joe attended St. Peter's grade school and he was a 1942 graduate of St. Peter's High School, which was then the old convent.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, serving during World War II, and he was discharged in June 1946. During wartime, he served in the European Theatre and the 121st General Hospital Unit.
On Feb. 7, 1948, he married Mary Lou Boyer. They were married for 69 years, soon to be 70 years.
Joe owned a State Farm Insurance Agency, in Joplin, for 43 years. He was a member and board director of the National Association of State Farm Agents for 20 years. He also served as president of the South Joplin Lions Club and he was a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, of Joplin. He loved woodworking and pheasant hunting.
Joe is survived by his wife, Mary Lou, of the home; two sons, Joseph Kelly Jr., and wife, Joan, of Palmetto, Fla., and Bob Kelly and wife, Candace, of Joplin; three grandchildren, Alison George and husband, Chris, of Springfield, Mo., Joseph Kelly III, and wife, Jessie, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Brennen Kelly, of Joplin; four great-grandchildren, Blake George, Remi George, Bay Lou Kelly and Joseph Kelly IV; his brother, Charles Kelly and wife, Marsha, of Charlotte, N.C.; as well as a host of extended family and friends.
A prayer service for Mr. Kelly will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 29, in the chapel of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, with Father J. Friedel officiating. Burial, with full military honors, will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery, in Webb City. The family will receive friends for visitation on Monday from 10 - 11 a.m. at the mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter's Catholic Church, in care of the mortuary.
Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, Joplin.
Published on January 28, 2018
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