Rev. John W. Kelley, 93 of Chatham, entered eternal life on Friday, May 17, 2024 at Springfield Memorial Hospital. He was born in Davenport, IA, the son of John W. and Anna P. (Broderson) Kelley. He married the love of his life Elizabeth Diers on May 29, 1955 and would have celebrated 69 years of marriage together.

Survivors include his loving wife, Elizabeth Diers Kelley of Chatham; one daughter, Coleen (Jeffrey) Koester of Chatham; two sons, Michael (Sherry) Kelley of Charleston, SC and Joel (Lynda) Kelley of Ridgecrest, CA; seven grandchildren, David (Emily) Kelley, Christina (Jake) Parker, Luke (Abby) Kelley, Samuel Kelley, Jacob Kelley, Zoey Koester, and Lexy Koester; four great grandchildren, Oliver, Benjamin, John, and James; one sister, Kathleen (Paul) Barnes of Blue Grass, IA and several nieces and nephews.

Rev. Kelley is preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Margaret Ann Dietrick and two brothers, Roger and Glenn Kelley.

He was very devoted to his ministry and held many positions. Rev. Kelley started his internship off at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ephrata, WA and then continued his internship and was a mission developer for Faith Lutheran Church in Soap Lake, WA. He then became Pastor and Mission Developer for Zion Lutheran Church in Port Orford, OR and then moved to Illinois where he continued ministering at Atonement Lutheran in Chicago, Grace Lutheran in Westchester, and Lutheran Church of Mahomet in Mahomet. He took a position as Director for Outreach, Evangelism, Stewardship and Assistant to the Bishop from 1990-1997 for the Central/Southern Illinois Synod-ELCA. Rev. Kelley retired in 1997. During retirement he served as Interim Pastor for St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Springfield, Faith Church in Jacksonville and Advent Church in Morton.

He served as Dean at Lutherdale Bible Camp, WI and board member and volunteer at Grace Food Pantry and Lions Club. He enjoyed rebuilding sports cars, creating stain glass windows, wood working, landscaping, and fellowship playing golf.

Visitation: 4-7 pm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at St. John’s Lutheran Church – Springfield.

Funeral Service: 10 am, Thursday, May 23, 2024 at St. John’s Lutheran Church – Springfield with Bishop Greg Busboom and Pastor Linda Strader officiating.

A private family burial is being held at Beckman Cemetery in Rantoul, IL.

Memorial donations may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church or Grace Food Pantry.

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