ST. GEORGE – Robert L. Kelley, 80, passed away Thursday, August 27, 2020 at his home with his sons by his side.
Born March 3, 1940 in Rockland to Edward M. and Eneeda (Nystrom) Kelley, Robert was born 4 months after his father was lost at sea aboard the scallop dragger Madeline & Flora and never knew him. He was educated in local schools up to 8th grade when he left to go to work to help support his family.
In 1959 he was hit by a car while working at F.J. O’Hara’s Fish Plant and was in a cast up to his chest in the hospital when he was introduced to his future wife, Vida Winslow. Robert always said it was love at first sight and the two of them married in 1960.
A hard worker all his life, Robert was employed for his first few years with Rockland Poultry. In 1965 he and Vida moved to Connecticut where he worked at Bic Pen as a maintenance man.
In 1970 he and Vida moved back to Maine and he went back to work at F.J. O’Hara’s as a fish cutter and later in maintenance. Over the years he would go clamming with his close friends, Walter Robinson, and Gene Colson. Robert also lobstered, and in the 80’s fished on a scallop dragger much like his father did. He also worked on the docks unloading boats at Stinson’s and F.J. O’Hara’s, did carpentry work, and shingled houses with another good friend, Bill Robinson of Thomaston.
Robert finally retired in 2002 due to a bum leg that was not set right from his accident in 1959.
He loved his family very much, and was considered a favorite uncle among his many nieces and nephews. Although divorced from Vida many years ago, he maintained a strong love for her and continued to wear his wedding ring right up until his passing.
Predeceased by his parents, his brothers and sisters, and his granddaughter Heather Hamilton, he is survived by his sons, Timothy Kelley and his wife Lori of St. George; Bob Kelley Jr. and his wife Levern of Union; Ernie Kelley of St. George; his grandchildren, Jessica, Robert, Jaime, April, Amanda, Jade, Andrew, and Jessica; his great grandchildren, Carley, Madison, William, Alex, Dylan, Timothy, Deja, Makayla, Keegan, Aden, Grace, Lyla, Alexis, Jaxon, Robbie, Cora, Haley, Autumn, Andrew, Abel, Alexis, and Jackson; 1 great, great grandchild, Levi.
A graveside committal will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Village Cemetery in Thomaston with Pastor Joe LaCombe officiating.