Bruce James Kelly was born October 8, 1951 in Clear Lake, South Dakota. His parents were John and Ann Kelly. He grew up on a farm near Revillo, South Dakota (he would tell you 'Oliver spelled backwards-kinda'). Bruce passed away on Monday, May 12, 2014 in Elbow Lake, MN.
He graduated from Revillo High School in 1969 and went on to college at Aberdeen, SD. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris with a degree in teaching - math and physics. He taught in the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg school district, and worked at Lorenz Manufacturing in Benson.
In 1981, Bruce married Sue Weinauer. To this union three children were born: Rebecca Dori in 1982, Peter John in 1985, and Emmalynn Anna in 1989. Bruce and Sue were married from 1981 to 2002. During this time Bruce made cabinets and also worked at Alexandria Lumber, and eventually became one of the owners of Miltona Lumber.
Bruce met Anne O'Flynn in 2006 and they were married on June 13, 2009. Together they played music with many area bands. Bruce would say, "Bruce on bass, Annie on accordion." Bruce worked for Beyer's Tire and Repair in Elbow Lake, and later for Rainbow Rider. Annie convinced Bruce to move to Elbow Lake with her by buying a home on Tipsinah Mounds Golf Course - and a new recliner. Bruce often told people that when he moved to Elbow Lake he 'hit the jackpot!' He loved the friends he made in the Lions Club and the only Saturdays he got up early were the ones that started with the Breakfast Club guys - and boy did he look forward to that! He thought the community was just amazing.
Bruce was a man of many talents. If you needed something fixed or built, he was the guy to call. If you wanted a heart-to-heart talk, you just picked up the phone and dialed his number.
Bruce loved all his grandchildren - the time spent with them meant the world to him. His version of 'Bingo' and teasing the kids about their 'stinky feet' will be long remembered. His own children fondly recall the 'Jock and Toby' stories he made up to tell them at bedtime.
He also loved the people who rode on his Rainbow Rider bus. He was touched by their lives, and was considering writing a book about his experiences. One story is done. It's called 'Homer.'
Most people will remember Bruce doing what he loved most, playing music. The list of bands he was a part of is a long one. Starting at a young age, he and his brother Norman learned to play guitar, and had their first gig in Tunerville, SD. Bruce was 14. What followed was nearly 50 years of playing, singing, and having fun doing what he loved. Every day he'd come up with another song for one of the bands he was currently playing with. "This is great," he'd say, "just listen to that bass line..."
Bruce's humor and love will be missed by everyone who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Anne O'Flynn; brother, Norman Kelly (Carol); ex-wife, Sue Weinauer; children: Rebecca Kelly (and friend Erin), Minneapolis; Peter Kelly (and friend Lindsey), Morris; and Emmy Kelly (and friend Kelvin), San Diego. Also survived by his 'bonus' children Heather Goldberg (Jeremy) of Lakeville, and Joel Erickson (Melany) of Morris. His 'bonus' grandchildren: Nathaniel Coffey, Riley Goldberg, Owen McCannon, Kellen McCannon, Layla Erickson, and Sawyer Erickson; and, the granddaughter he loved so much, Willow Grace Kelly of Morris. And, the best 'company of friends' in the world.
Services were held on Friday, May 16. Friends gathered to share memories, music, and their love for Bruce.
Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.