Douglas Wayne Kelley, age 83 years of Niles, Michigan; father, grandfather, brother, and quiet worker died peacefully at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 with family at his home in Howard Township following a brief illness.
He was born on October 27, 1939 in Hamilton, Alabama to Fred T. and Clela (Colburn) Kelley, and attended school in Alabama. He came to Mishawaka, Indiana in 1953 with his family, and then to Niles in 1964 when he began a career in new home construction as an interior painter. He was employed for many years by Garden Homes in South Bend, and helped them complete entire subdivisions before his retirement several years ago.
Doug was a quiet guy, but a hard worker, building his family’s house in 1965. When not at work, he enjoyed maintaining a pleasant yard, spent the summers cutting and splitting firewood, and the winters tending to the wood burning stoves that heated the house. It was that house where he felt most comfortable, and where he elected to spend his final days.
He was previously married, and the children from that marriage include a daughter, Kitty (& Tony) Paich of Detroit, and a son, Doug (& Theresa) Kelley, Jr. who live in Oklahoma; and grandchildren, Katrina Paich and Kristian (& Steven) Lee.
On March 20, 1967 in South Bend, Indiana he married the former Mary J. Thompson with whom he celebrated the twenty-second anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on December 8, 1989. He was also sadly preceded in death by a daughter, Sharon Rose Johnson on June 3, 2017, and Sharon’s husband, Asa A. Johnson, Jr. on April 7, 2018; and Doug’s siblings, Bud Buford Hightower and his wife, Rose, Charles Horace Kelly, and Nell Davis and her husband, Al.
Surviving family includes his sons, James Kelly and Michael Kelly, both of Niles; grandchildren, Asa A. (& Kelly Matthews) Johnson III, Samantha Kay (& James Williams) Johnson, and Angela Janine (& Cheryl Masterman) Johnson; great-grandchildren Mable Johnson, Asa A. Johnson IV, Joshua DeWitt, and Ayden Johnson; Doug’s sister-in-law, Barbara (Mrs. Charles) Kelley of South Bend, Indiana; and a special friend, Virginia Kujawa.
The family of Douglas Kelley will gather privately at a later date for Committal Services at his graveside in Mission Hills Memorial Gardens, in Niles. Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online memories may be left at:
Doug clearly enjoyed life, taking pride in finishing the interiors of new homes, expressing his creativity in taking care of his yard, and having the self-discipline to provide the wood to heat his home. He also took care of his family, and especially his sons, James and Michael.