Phillip “Phil” Paul Kelley, age 91, of Walker, MN, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at his home surrounded by family. He was born August 29, 1931, in Reading, MA, the son of Genevieve (Karpen) and Arthur Kelley.
Phil grew up in St. Paul, MN. He spent many summers working on a farm owned by a family friend in Webster, SD. He often hauled grain to the nearby elevator in a horse drawn wagon because he wasn't old enough to drive the tractor. He attended St. Thomas Military Academy and graduated in 1950 with the rank of Sargent First Class.
Upon graduation, Phil became a salesman. He spent a lot of time on the road selling everything from the "hits" on vinyl 45 RPM records to Industrial incinerators. He remained a salesman up until the end.
Phil loved the sport of shooting. He met the love of his life, Patricia Ann Roth, at a skeet and trap shoot at the old Minneapolis Gun Club. They were married on September 11, 1954. They raised 5 boys in Bloomington, MN, and were married for 63 years.
Phil also loved the outdoors and spent many years coming to Leech Lake to fish and hunt with friends. He liked it so much that he and Pat bought Grand Vu Lodge on Leech Lake and moved the family to Walker in 1975. After running the resort for a while, he realized that there was a need for boat sales and outboard engine repair in the area. In 1976, he and son, Jim started Resort Marine and Service, Inc. in the back garage of the resort. They soon outgrew the space and moved the business to the Y junction where it remains today. Phil retired on his 86th birthday.
Phil was a family man. He loved having the family together at the lake, especially the grand kids. He loved sitting around the table on the deck having a cocktail, after 5 p.m., telling stories and having a good time. Holidays were extra special for him because he knew everyone would be "home".
Phil is preceded in death by his mother, Genevieve Kelley; stepfather, Edward Slebiska; father, Arthur Kelley; wife, Patricia Kelley; and brother, A.W. Kelley.
Those left to cherish Phil's memory are his sons, Mike (Dawn) Kelley of St. Michael, MN, Jim Kelley of Walker, MN, Tim Kelley of Spring Park, MN, Don Kelley of Savage, MN, and Pete (Jeanne) Kelley of Walker, MN; and 5 grandchildren, Payton, Nathan, Lauren, Kristina and Bryan.
A mass of Christian Burial for Phillip will be Friday, March 17, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. with a one-hour visitation prior to the start of the service, all to be held at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Walker, MN. Father Timothy Lange will officiate. Phillip’s urn bearers will be his grandchildren. A private family interment will be held later in the Spring at Evergreen Cemetery in Walker, MN. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105, http://www.stjude.org and/or Mayo Clinic, Department of Development 200 First Street SW Rochester, MN 55905 https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donateMC
Phillip’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Mayo Clinic Department of Developement
200 First Street SW, Rochester MN 55905