Larry W. Kelley, age 77 of Eastman, WI, passed away Thursday August 19, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born January 18, 1944, in Gays Mills, WI, the son of Isaiah and Beverly (Sime) Kelley.
Larry married Priscilla Kilburg on October 3, 1964, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Eastman.
He started school at Haney Ridge, then moved to Steuben U, before the family moved to Milwaukee at age eight, where Larry graduated from West Allis Central High School in 1962. He briefly attended UW-Milwaukee before enlisting in the United States Navy in March of 1964, entering the nuclear power program. After attending boot camp and “A” school in Great Lakes, IL, he attended the US Navy Nuclear School in Vallejo, CA and the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho Falls, ID. Upon graduation he was selected to remain as an instructor to train US Navy officers requiring the course prior to commanding a nuclear vessel. In November of 1967, he reported for sea duty serving two tours in Vietnam aboard the USS Long Beach, the only nuclear powered cruiser in the US Navy. While aboard, he attained the rating of Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class E-5 and earned the appointment of Engine Room Supervisor.
After his discharge from the US Navy, in February 1970 Larry began his 36 year career with Dairyland Power COOP, at the Genoa Nuclear Power Facility (LACBWR). Following the closure of LACBWR in April 1987, Larry moved to Cassville managing EJ Stoneman, then in 1991, he moved to Buffalo City, WI to manage the JP Madgett and Alma generating stations until his retirement in 2006. After retiring, Larry and Priscilla moved back to the Seneca, WI area where he became an active member of his community. Larry volunteered with the Seneca Fire Department and Seneca First Responders and was part of the Seneca Township Zoning Committee.
Larry was a member of the Seneca School Board for nearly 15 years. Also serving as an elected official on the Crawford County Board of Supervisors, Larry represented the Town of Seneca and Village of Lynxville for many years. While on the board he served as Chairman of the Veterans Service Committee and also sat on the Personnel and Bonds & Insurance Committees. He was an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Seneca, also serving on finance and church councils. Larry was a true leader.
He loved to play fast-pitch softball and golf. He also coached basketball at St. Gabriel’s in Prairie du Chien during the early 1970’s and announced football games for Seneca High School in the 1980’s. Larry was a ‘do-it-yourselfer’, never shying away from a project or an obstacle.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years Priscilla; their two sons Sean (Deb), Eric (Lena), and their daughter Robin (Jerry) Lynch; his sister Lona (Rocky Griffith) and his brother Jeffrey (Marj Inman); grandchildren Seth and Sara Kelley, Kelsey, Evan, and Peyton Kelley, Jordan (Anna) Lynch and Kelley (Logan) Wagner; 2 great-grandchildren John Lynch and Nora Wagner and one more great-granddaughter on the way; and 2 step-grandchildren David (Caitlyn), and John Lessard. He was preceded in death by his parents, father and mother-in-law (Alfred and Irene Kilburg), brothers-in-law, Father Jack, Richard, and Mike (Jean) Kilburg; sisters-in-law Carolyn (Arnie) Henry, and Sharon Kilburg.
A Memorial Mass of Resurrection will be Monday, August 30, 2021, at 11:00 A.M. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Seneca, WI, Rev. Thomas Huff officiating, with military honors to follow, accorded by the Gays Mills American Legion Post 308. Burial will be at a later date in the Haney Ridge Cemetery near Barnum, WI. Friends may call at the Garrity Funeral Home on Sunday, August 29, 2021, from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. and at church on Monday from 10:00 A.M. until the time of services. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Couleecap, Crossing Rivers Health Hospice, or the Seneca Education Foundation.
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