We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Richard W. Kelley, who died on Feb 8, 2020, at the age of 93.
Richard was born on August 2, 1926 in Rockford, IL to George M. Kelley and Vera N. Kelley. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science, following which he worked as a Chaplain’s Assistant at Council for Clinical Training of Minister, Napa State Mental Hospital, Imola, CA. In 1955, Richard earned his Bachelor of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry.
Rev. Kelley was ordained on May 24, 1956 by the Unitarian Church of Our Father, Newburgh, NY where he carried out his ministry from 1955 to 1959. In 1959, he was called to the UU Church of Little Rock, AR where he served until 1967. Later in 1967, Rev. Kelley accepted a call from the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, NM and ministered for four years. Thereafter, he served for two decades at the Paint Branch UU Church, Adelphi, MD (1971-1991). On July 31, 1991, Rev. Kelley, retired from his active ministry; on September 1, 1991, the Paint Branch congregation honored him as their minister emeritus. After his retirement, from 1991 to 1994, Rev. Kelley served the UU Church of Hagerstown, MD as a consulting minister. Furthermore, he served the UU Fellowship of Southern Maryland, MD as a church administrator from 1996 to 2005, and as a newsletter editor from 2005 to 2007.
In addition to his parish ministry, Rev. Kelley served the Southwestern Unitarian Universalist Conference (SWUUC) Summer Institute as a Workshop Leader (1959-1960); as “Sunset” Speaker (1961); and as a Program Chairman (1962). He also served the board of the SWUUC (1962-1965), SWUUC Religious Education Committee (1962-1965) and SWUUC Executive Committee (1964-1965). Rev. Kelley was visiting minister to the Unitarian Fellowship of Alexandria, LA; and performed as a Secretary-Treasurer (1963-1964) and President (1964-1965) for the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association- Southwestern Chapter.
Richard passionately provided his services to the communities to which he belonged. He functioned as a board member for the Planned Parenthood Clinic, Newburgh, NY (1957 -1959) and served the Urban League of Greater Little Rock, AR under various positions: as a member (1960-1967), as a board Member (1960-1963), as First Vice President (1962-1963) and as an Acting President (1963). For the Arkansas Council for Human Relations, Richard served as a Member (1960-1967), as a Board Member (1961-1963) and served the Advisory Committee (1961-1964). In addition, he was a Special Instructor of Philosophy in the Religion Department of Little Rock University, AR (1965-1967); and he served on the board for the New Mexico Mental Health Association (1968-1969). In addition, Richard was an enlisted man of the United States Army. In his spare time, he enjoyed artwork generally, block printing, sculpture, creative writing, woodworking, camping, hiking and swimming.
Richard’s daughter Tina DeLaBriandais wrote: “Our father was a gentle and sensitive man who celebrated life, nature, love and the closeness of his family. He left behind him a long lifetime of found and cherished memories shared by many friends and family.”
Richard is survived by his wife Mary Ann Kelley; his children Susan, Tara and Tina; his ten grandchildren; and his seven great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Association or to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
A memorial service was held at 3 pm on Sunday, March 15 at the Paint Branch UU Church, 3215 Power Mill Rd, Adelphi, MD 20783.
Notes of condolences may be sent to Mary Ann Kelley at 201 Dennis Ct, Oakley, CA 94561.
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