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Harold L. Kelly
Bassett — Harold Leslie Kelly, 87, of Bassett, died peacefully Friday, Jan. 28, 2022 at Rock County Hospital Long Term Care in Bassett just three days after his 87th birthday. On Thursday evening, his wife and close family members were with him or had talked to him via Facetime on the phone.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2022 at Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill.
Burial will be in the O'Neill Cemetery in O'Neill with military rites provided by the O'Neill American Legion Simonson Post 93.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Harold was born near Crawford on Jan. 25, 1935 to Albert and Ethel (Rimmers) Kelly. He was the fifth of 10 children growing up in the Chadron-Crawford area.
Harold was a member of the U.S. National Guard during the Korean Conflict in 1952 and continued to serve in the Guards within the Chadron area for 10 years. He was a member of the American Legion for 41 years.
On Jan. 8, 1954 he married Rosalie Booth from Gordon. The couple had six children Alan “Mike,” Rodney, Curtis, Crystal, Cynthia and Tracy. The Kelly family lived in the Scottsbluff area, around Gordon, O'Neill, Spencer and Page in Nebraska and Cutbank, MT. Many stories have been told about their experiences in the different places they lived. The couple met many people over the years with many becoming good friends.
Harold was a man of many talents. He worked as a diesel mechanic and an airplane mechanic, eventually getting his pilot's license. He drove semi for many years hauling crude oil, cattle, over-sized loads, grains, watermelons, onions and other produce across the country. In 1983, Harold retired from trucking and moved to Colorado where he worked with his brother Bernard for a couple years. He later worked on an Arabian horse ranch and Paul Weaver Farms until Harold and Rosalie decided to move back to Nebraska in the early 90s. Harold went to work on the Huffman-Carver Ranch near Hyannis in the sandhills. The couple eventually put down their final roots in Kilgore where Harold worked as a fabricator and machinist for Welker Welding until his retirement. You can still see some of the things he built being used today.
But Harold never really retired completely as he was always available to help someone out on their farm or home, or you would find him doing something in his own shop or yard. He really enjoyed teasing people, especially the girls. You had to look out if he got a dish towel in his hands. He was always ready to share his skills and knowledge with anyone who wanted to learn. Kilgore became the place they finally were able to call home and were blessed with the addition of the Lambs as part of their family and gaining many new close friends from the area.
In 2020, Harold and Rosalie moved to Cherry Hills Assisted Living in Valentine. Harold resided there until his move to the nursing home in Bassett the last few months of his life. Rosalie still resides at Cherry Hills.
Harold will be greatly missed but never forgotten. We will think of him often, especially when we see purple cows, spittoons, western shirts, biscuits and gravy, whiskey and coke, the smell of Old Spice and long gray beards.
Harold is survived by his wife Rosalie of Valentine; one son Curtis (Susan) Kelly of Broadwater; daughters, Crystal (John) Geiman of Rapid City, SD and Tracy (Duane) Lamb of Valentine; 13 grandchildren Carrie (Brandon) Tritsch, Tina (Travis) Sparks, Sean (Jazmin) Kelly, Joshua (Tonya) Kelly, Jessica Mutschelknaus, Julie Geiman, Brandon (Amy) Tschantre, Amanda (Jordan) Fischer, Cody (Katie) Tschantre and Colten, Colby, Chelsie and Cayden Lamb; 10 great-grandchildren, with one in the oven; one great-great-grandchild, with another one in the oven; and many nieces, nephews and close friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three children Alan Kelly, Rodney Kelly and Cindy Kelly; nine siblings Evelyn Wright, Earl Kelly, Dale Kelly, Patrick Kelly, Fred Kelly, Bernard Kelly, Darlene Kelly, Rosella Kelly and Donie Kelly; nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law and close friends.
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