Thomas “Tommy” Palmer Kelly, 79, of Lubbock, passed away September 27, 2019.
Graveside Services will be Monday, September 30, 2019 at 2:00 PM in Englewood Cemetery, Slaton. Arrangements are by Englunds Funeral Service of Slaton.
Tommy was born September 29, 1936 in Abilene, Texas, to Russell Wade Kelly and Bertha Laverne (Scarborough)Kelly. He was the third of five children: Jimmy Drew Kelly, Jack Russell Kelly, Martha Laverne Kelly Bomar, and Wade Eugene Kelly. Jack Russel Kelly and Wade Eugene Kelly have pre-deceased him, he is survived by his brother Jimmy and sister, Martha.
Tommy started school in Idalou, Texas and finished school in Lubbock attending both Lubbock High and Monterey, graduating from Monterey High School in 1957. Between his attendance at Lubbock High and Monterey, he worked with his brother Jimmy and Uncle Henry on a farm in Hale County. After graduation, he worked at Paymaster Oil Mill, then entered the United States Army on June 19, 1958. He served in active duty in Washington state until June 17, 1960.
Tommy married Katherine “Katie” Starette Bentley on New Year’s Day in 1960. The moved together to Washington, returning to Lubbock in June of 1960.
After returning to Lubbock, Tommy went to work for Ozark Mahoning Company in Terry County, Texas, and they moved to Brownfield, using the skills he learned in the army as a wireman, often climbing poles in lightning storms. He also did underwater work as well.
Even while living in Brownfield, he had a connection to the land, having a small garden in the backyard. In 1968, Tommy and Katie move to Hale County, Texas, to again work with his brother, Jimmy. He worked with Jimmy until 1983, when he returned to Lubbock, Texas. After returning to Lubbock he worked at Industrial Grain and worked there until he retired. He and Katie moved to a 10 acre farm in 1984 where in addition to working at Industrial Grain, he farmed cotton, having a bumper crop almost every year, and growing peas, beans, tomatoes, okra, zucchini, cucumbers, peanuts, gladiolas, and many other vegetables in abundance, just ask Katie.
Along the way they had three children: Deirdre Inez Kelly, David Wade Kelly, and Darrell Thomas Kelly. Deirdre married Terry Don Trotter in 1979 and they have two children: Teila Donielle Trotter and Kayley Annette Trotter. Teila married Emmanuel Peralez in 2009. They have three children: Damien Blake Peralez, Keltyn Drake Peralez, and Tobias Jake Peralez. Kayley married Nathaniel Peralz in 2017. They have one daughter: Alaina Jade Peralez. Darrell married Shelly Ann Quick in 1997, and they have four children: Lacy Ann Quick, Christian Reed Quick, Jaden Thomas Kelly, and Ashlin Grace Kelly. Lacy married Logan Smith in 2014. Lacy and Logan have three children: Kelsie Ann Tillman, Thaddeus Jonathan Smith and Coraline Rainn Smith. Christian married Sierra Harrison.
Tommy was very handy. He built the barn that is on the farm. He worked on his own vehicles and farm equipment. He was not a religious man but he was Christian. He had an undeniable connection to Mother earth. He was a very honorable and honest man, and he expected the same of others. He was a very quiet man, but when crossed he could be formidable, as a neighbor once learned when he put a fence across Tommy’s path before the land had changed hands. The neighbor replace the fence after Tommy drove through it, but nothing more ever came of it. He will be missed by those closest to him.
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