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Robert H. Kelley Jr.

October 18, 2021


Robert H. Kelley, Jr. passed away peacefully at Provision Living of West Bloomfield on Oct. 18, 2021. He was 93. Robert (Bob) was born in Farmington, MI in 1928 to Robert Henry Sr. and Eva Kelley.

Bob graduated high school summa cum laude and then attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, he began his long-standing career at Detroit Edison. He married the love of his life Millee McClarty in September of 1950. Not long after he married, he completed his MBA at the University of Michigan – Dearborn.

Bob and Millee, at the beginning of their marriage, scrimped and saved to invest in a small lake property in Waters, MI with Bob’s parents. They named the subdivision Fawn Lake Forest and with his parents, aunts and uncles, built a small motel adjacent to the property that they named the Northland Motel. Bob and Millee had four children: Bob, Tom, Tim, and Chris. During the summers, as the family grew, they spent most weekends with Bob’s parents and his sister Connie at the Waters property swimming, fishing, hiking, and skiing.

Bob was an avid builder, and loved building and designing decks, patios, and beautiful gardens. He also enjoyed working with his grandchildren to help them build their toothpick bridges for their school science projects, and of course those bridges were able to bear the most weight!

Bob’s zest for life didn’t stop there. Bob and Millee owned a 33-foot sailboat that they sailed with the kids to Cedar Point and just the two of them throughout the Great Lakes. In addition, Bob also donated his time as a deacon and the treasurer of their Lutheran Church.

Bob excelled in his career and retired at 58 as Manager of Oakland County and Assistant Vice President of Detroit Edison. He loved his job and was very successful, and he always found time for family. The Kelley family spent a lot of time together, not only in Waters, but with Millee’s extended family and their many friends and co-workers. The family played tennis, hockey, and countless games of charades. Bob and Millee also enjoyed hosting holiday gatherings for both of their families and parties for their children and friends.

Bob and Millee adored Michigan and the Great Lakes. In their early 70s they built a home on the northern shore of Lake Michigan in Manistique. For the decade that they lived there, family and friends visited regularly to enjoy Lake Michigan and socialize with Bob and Millee.

Bob built an incredible life for himself and his family. His life however, was not without tragedy. Bob lost his mother at the age of 67 and he and Millee lost a baby two days after birth. Then, he and his family were deeply wounded by the loss of their son Tom at the age of 30 and then Millee’s own illness that left her bedridden at the age of 64. Bob continued to care for her until her death at 84. Through these tough times, he and Millee supported each other and their children endlessly and continued to live life to the fullest, their deep faith in God never wavering.

Bob was loving, kind, generous, supportive, and intelligent. He loved life unconditionally and lived it with the utmost integrity. He was a stellar example of a loving son, devoted husband, dedicated father and grandfather, and steady provider.

Bob is survived by his children Bob III, Tim, and Chris (Tom), and and his grandchildren Kate, Kevin, Sandy, Crystal, Kim (Brian), Amanda, Coreen (John), Tristan, Natalia, Audrey and Flora. Also, by his great grandchildren Jacob, Michael, Lucas, Corbin, Harvey, Carly, Tyler and Briella. Bob was preceded in death by his mother and father Bob Sr., Eva, sister Connie, son Tom, and wife Millee.

A family-only service was held at Glen Eden Cemetery in Livonia. Donations can be made to the Ehlers-Danlos Society in honor of the Kelley Family.

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