Joseph “Jody” Kelley, 57, of Tuscola, Texas, passed away on January 17, 2020 at home surrounding by family in Dudley, Texas. He has now been reunited with his beloved black mare, Babe, riding those green pastures in Heaven.
Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Thursday January 23, 2020 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, January 24, 2020 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home. There will be a private cremation later.
Jody was born at HMC to James and Mary Ann (Dooley) Kelley on December 4, 1962. He attended and graduated from Jim Ned ISD. He went to work for R.B. Choate Plumbing not long after high school. From there he went on to establish his own plumbing company, simply Jody Kelley Plumbing. He served the smaller and outlying communities and towns that didn’t have access to Abilene. He had a knack for remembering every house he worked on and those he served.
He has been involved with the RHAA and Western Heritage Classic since 1996. He has served as a member of the PRCA Rodeo Committee for the West Texas Fair and Rodeo since 1998. The committee was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2009; an award he was so proud of. He was first affiliated with the West Texas Rehabilitation Center through their spring and fall trail rides.
Jody met his love, partner and best friend, Ms. Pete, at the Pitchfork/6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas on one of those Rehab trail rides in 1995. They were truly a team for the next 24 1/2 years.
Jody is survived by Ms. Pete (Putman) Giles, both parents, sister April (Wes) Brooks, brother Jeff (Deadra) Kelley, son Kolby (Shawna) Kelley, and daughter Ashley (Dusty) Rhea. Grandsons Cannon and Coleman Rhea. Nieces Jaycee Brooks, Juliann Kelley, Chelsey (Densman) Heller and Brittany (Densman) Roes and husband Lee, and Bretni (Chisum) Cope. Nephew, Weston (Megan) Brooks, and a bonus nephew in Vinnie Heller. He was “Bubba” to Avery and Cooper Roes and Hesston and Haze Heller. Ms. Pete’s sister, Wendy (Clifford) Densman. He is also survived by numerous Aunts, Uncles and cousins who he will be so missed by.
Honorary Pallbearers will be, Kelly Gill, Eric Pechacek, Calvin Cox, Jim Craft, Glen Pointer and John Barbee.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Taylor County Expo Center, West Texas Rehab Center and Hospice of the Big Country. I want to thank Dr. Ezeoke and Christine, Diana, Deborah, Kristy, Tammie and Pamela of Hospice of the Big Country for the gentle, loving care they gave my Jody.
And there are no words that convey the love, prayers and strength we all received from all our friends.
“You must judge a man’s greatness by how much he will be missed”