Michael “Mike” James Kelly, 56, died of natural causes on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in Hailey, Idaho.
He was born on Nov. 12, 1956, in Milwaukee, Wisc., to Pat and Elsie (Long) Kelly. He lived and went to school in Milwaukee until 1972 when his family built a new house in the township of Seven Mile Creek, Juneau County, Wisc. Mike graduated from high school in Reedsburg, Wisc. He attended college for two years, studying ski resort management. Mike learned the craft of tile setting by working with his father. He learned the enjoyment of downhill skiing with both of his parents. Mike lived in Wisconsin the majority of his life until he moved to Hailey in 1984.
When Mike got his first bike, he took off riding it and was gone for a year. He was an avid skier and motorcycle (Harley) enthusiast. Mike was one of the original co-founders of the annual Wood River Valley Toy Run. His own and the group’s goal was to bring a child a gift. Mike was also the local rep for the Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety.
He was set up on a blind date with Mary Kelly on May 5, 2000, and they were married in Hailey, Idaho, on Aug. 28, 2004. She was the love of his life. In 2006, the greatest joy of his life was born, Brandi, his granddaughter. She was the light of his life and they were the best of friends. He was going to teach her how to ski; they always went camping and boating. They would go get ice cream together at the Senior Connection. They would ride their bikes to the park and play for hours on end together and they would go anywhere and everywhere together. He even got her to ride on his motorcycle with him. He would always ask her, “What am I going to be when you grow up?”
Michael is survived by his wife, Mary, of Hailey, Idaho; a daughter, Angela Hartley (Robert Bradford) of Bellevue, Idaho; sister, Kathleen “Katie” of LaValle, Wisc.; and a brother, Gerald “Jerry” of Lyndon Station, Wisc.; an uncle, Bernard (Diana) Long of Waunakee, Wisc.; and an aunt, Marian Knight (Warren) of Coon Valley, Wisc.; Kenneth and James Kelly and their wives of Wisconsin; his granddaughters Brandi Villegas and Isabell Owings, both of Bellevue; a grandson, Robert Bradford of Bellevue; and another granddaughter, Aleesia Bradford of Boise, Idaho. He also had a great-granddaughter, Aleah Bradford of Boise.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Patrick and Elise (Long) Kelly and by his grand-parents and his mother-in-law, Elanor Ollie Pearson of Spearfish, S.D.
Mike will be sorely missed in his community and by his family and his numerous friends in all 50 states.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Brandi Villegas-Hartley at Mountain West Bank in Hailey and to the Community Baskets in Mike Kelly’s name, also at Mountain West Bank in Hailey.
There will be a viewing for any of his friends who would like to come say good-bye at the Wood River Chapel in Hailey from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13, and a memorial service from 1-4 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Cremation and other arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel. Go to www.woodriverchapel.com to leave messages or memories or post pictures. Also if you would like, you can email any memories or anything at all—send them to email@example.com.