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Obituary: James M. "Jim" Kelley, California

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James M. “Jim” Kelley, 65, formerly of Columbus, died at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, June 15, 2014, in Bakersfield, California, after suffering a massive stroke on June 8.

Jim was born Sept. 21, 1948, in Key West, Florida, the son of Herschel N. and Emily A. Settles Kelley. He was a graduate of Columbus High School, earned an associate's degree at California State University at San Francisco, and attended California State University at Sacramento. Jim later proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era.

He had been employed by Berry Holding Company for some time and later worked for Frito Lay. Jim was a history buff and an avid reader and enjoyed motorcycling in the desert.

Survivors include his mother, Emily A. Settles Kelley Mabe of Columbus; stepbrothers and stepsisters, Vicki (Ben) Miller of San Diego, California, Don (Becky) Mabe Jr. of Huntington Beach, California, Linda (Victor) Navaro of Mesa, Arizona, and Gary (Cindy) Mabe of Yorba Linda, California; and a brother and sister-in-law, David (Vicki) Callison of Maricopa, California; and a sister-in-law, Jill Jones Kelley of Columbus.

He was preceded in death by his father, Herschel N. Kelley, in 1969; his brother, Charles N. “Charlie” Kelley, on Feb. 18, 2012; his wife, Debbie Kelley; and his stepfather, Don E. Mabe, in 2006.

In keeping with Jim’s wishes, cremation took place in California with his ashes being joined with his wife’s. A gathering of family and friends will be held from 5 to 7 p. m. Thursday at Hathaway-Myers Chapel on Pearl Street.

His mother, Emily, has requested in lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be directed to Love Chapel.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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