Kelly, John Richard

April 28, 1952 - September 2, 2018

John R “Jack” Kelly was born April 28, 1952 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan to John and Rita Kelly,  passed away at the age of 66 on Sunday September 2, 2018 at his home in Plano Texas. He grew up in Montrose, MI with his 8 siblings and in his twenties followed work down to Florida. From Florida he moved to Dallas, Texas. John was a carpenter by trade with an unrivalled work ethic; an artist in his craft. He was happiest working with wood, designing projects and standing over his saws.  He was a deep thinking and spiritual man who had the utmost faith that a better place lay beyond this earthly plane.  His zest and love for this life was most apparent when he was on the dance floor – out dancing those who were a third of his age – music was in his soul, especially Motown! A real life leprechaun that considered St Patrick’s Day the holiest of Holy Days!

He was survived by his beloved partner Debi Trainor, siblings Maureen (Rich) Bishop and their children Ryan and Scott; Rose (Paul) Wagner and their children Eileen, Theresa, and Heidi; Paul (Marg) Kelly and their children Tom, Mary Jo, and David; brother in law John Vanlerberghe and his children Mike, Tom, Mark, and Brian; Carol (Paul) Richmond; Sue (Mike) Brannam; Karen Nieman; sister-in-law Carol Nieman. He had extended family, dear friends, and 24 great nieces and nephews!

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Joan Vanlerberghe, and his brother Don Nieman.

For his final arrangements, John’s wishes were that his family in Michigan celebrate with an Irish Wake and that his ashes be scattered from the back of a Harley by an old friend and one of his nephews.

John’s time on this earth was way too short for all who loved him, and he will be greatly missed, but will live forever in our hearts.

Rest sweet rest, dear soul John, in the hands and arms of the Divine Mother. She never saw anything less but his perfection.

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

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8 replies on “Kelly, John Richard”

Karla Hurst says:

John I will miss watching you dance with such energy and enthusiasm. You were a wonderful partner to Debi. I’m glad you two found each other even if only for a short time. You will be missed by many!

Jill A McPherson says:

Dearest John, I love you because you loved my dear friend Debi. She was so happy because you made her so happy. I will miss seeing you and her out on the dance floor. You really knew how to cut a rug out there. You and your smile and your presence will be greatly missed.

Kathryn says:

We are so sorry for your loss. May ‘the God of all comfort’ be with your family at this difficult time.
Romans 15:4

Kim Evans says:

John, your zest for life expressed through your dancing was truly inspirational and your love for Debi a great example of loving souls sharing this earthly journey together. You will be missed.

Eileen Mallory says:

❤️RIP Jack.
Thought of him as my cool, young uncle……always the life of the party! He lived life with his cup half full, always lifting others up and ready to do a jig at a moments notice. He will be missed.
May your Irish eyes continue to smile, Jack. 🍀🍀🍀🍀

Larry Vanlerberghe says:

Jack and I were friends since grade school. We shared a lot of good times and memories. I will miss our long conversations about everything and anything.

Tracy Leighton says:

My father Richard Moore grew up with Jack here in Michigan.I remember him visiting us alot growing up and even as adults.He was always down for playing on the floor with us when we were little and then again with my children.He was always so much fun ..we would be excited for his visits..I will remember his kind heart and his laugh always. Rip uncle Jack

Heidi Wagner says:

Energy! Always so much energy. He was what he’d call a “kool cat”. Although age changes us, this is how I always remember my young uncle and godfather John (Jack) Kelly, who was only 16 years older then me. Always with his shirt off, cutoff shorts, tube socks, skilled carpenter, ape hanger handlebar motorcycle, red, white and blue helmet. He would always tickle my sides when he’d see me and always freely gave pinches that hurt! Loved to dance, always jovial, smiling but easy to get in a deep conversation with. It was always fun as a kid to see my uncle and break the rules. I’ll never forget at my cousins, even at such a young age that I had to ride in front of Jack on his motorcycle, he’d speed down Armada-Ridge Road making sure I was holding on tight and pop-a-wheelie, always telling me not to tell my mom or we won’t be able to do that again 😉. Flip competitions in the yard with my neighborhood friends, jump rope competitions, he taught me to criss-cross jump rope. Such a fun uncle to have and I always felt special that he was my godfather.

Tomorrow we will celebrate his life and spread his ashes as he wished, flying free behind a speeding motorcycle. That couldn’t be more perfect. Taken too soon. I’ll always love you. ♥️

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