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home : obituaries : obituaries July 27, 2017

1/21/2017 5:00:00 AM
Van Kelly Jr.
Dec. 30, 1927 - Jan. 15, 2017
Van Kelly Jr.
Van Kelly Jr.

Van Kelly Jr., 89, Rochester, passed away at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, at Signature Healthcare, Port Charlotte, Fla.

He was born Dec. 30, 1927, in Camargo, Ky., the son of Van Sr. and Helen (Arthur) Kelly. He spent his childhood working on the family farm in Mount Sterling, Ky.

On Dec. 21, 1946, at the First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, he married Helen J. Nickell. She preceded him in death on Oct. 7, 2008.

After settling in Rochester, he spent 20 years distributing beer and freight for his boss and dear friend, Ben Daulton, at the Rochester City Dray. He then worked for 19 years for Camcar/Textron, retiring in 1990.

Van worked hard and played hard. An avid outdoorsman, Van loved to hunt and fish, whether it was moose in Canada, morels in Michigan, small game in Fulton County or sunshine in Florida. A dedicated fisherman, he spent the better part of his retirement years fishing Lake Manitou, surrounding lakes and farm ponds. He loved sharing the "catch" with family and friends, hosting countless fish frys in his backyard.

Van was an active member in the community, having been a member of the Rochester Lions Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, Elks Lodge, American Legion, Eagles Lodge and the Moose Lodge. He had attended the First Christian Church and had coached Little League baseball for many years, having helped create the Little League fields in the mid-1950s. A huge sports fan, Van enjoyed following all sports, but especially enjoyed following his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in all of their sporting events. His family provided his biggest joy in life.

Survivors include his daughter, Barbara Buckingham, Lake Suzy, Fla.; son Brad and wife Brenda Kelly, Rochester; grandchildren Megan (Buckingham) and husband Luke Hill, Beaverton, Ore., Ben and wife Sarah Daulton, Rochester, and Gracie (Kelly) and husband Christopher Prater, Warsaw; great-grandchildren Wilson Daulton, Jessica Daulton and Michael Daulton, all of Rochester, McKenzie Baker, Florida, and Landon and Sadie Hill, both of Beaverton, Ore.; several nieces and nephews; and many special friends he had made over the years.

He was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter Amy Helen Daulton; brothers J.P. Kelly, Richard "Dick" Kelly, Cecil Kelly, Thomas "Tommy" Kelly, Henry Kelly, and Morton "Doc" Kelly; and sister Margaret Snyder.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester, with the Rev. Mike Van Heyningen officiating. Friends may visit from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, and one hour prior to the service Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Phil Daulton Memorial Youth Fund. Online condolences may be expressed at

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