Charles A. O'Kelley Sr.
October 6, 1945 – June 2, 2019
Charles Alexander O’Kelley, age 73, passed away quietly at his home on June 2, 2019. He was a special man with a zest for life and a deep love for his family and friends. He will be missed dearly by them all.
Charlie was born in Cuzco, Peru in 1945. He moved with his mother and sisters, to Danielsville, Georgia when he was 14 years old, to live on his dad’s family farm. He attended MCHS, graduating in 1966. While in HS, he demonstrated his athletic talent (and love for sports), most notably in basketball and football, and track as well as his musical talent with the school band. He made his mark on the school with his wit and personal sense of style.
After graduation, Charlie enlisted in the USAF where he developed his talent for fixing all things mechanical. He became an aircraft mechanic technician and a crew chief specializing in fixing airplanes. During his first 4 years of active service with the Air Force, Charlie saw action in the Vietnam War. He was able to incorporate his love for sports while in the AF as well. He boxed for the USAF, in the light-featherweight Division. He participated in the Pan Am Games and was on the USAFE first AF Worldwide boxing title team in 1967. It was while he was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, in 1969, that he met and married the love of his life, Marlyn Anita MacDougald.
In 1970, Charlie completed his active service with the AF to return to Danielsville, where he returned to help the family with their auto repair businesses. He was the chief mechanic at Deltina Diesel & Auto and Deltina Foreign Car. He founded other family ventures, including Deltina Sportwear while continuing to work with family on other family ventures. In 1970, Charlie became a dad with the birth of his first child, Alex. Three yrs later, in 1974, his daughter, Shannon Leigh was born. The love for his wife and children was deep and remained throughout his life.
Though Charlie found time to attend college at UGA, ODU and Gainesville Jr.esCollege, he was lured back to service for the country, when he joined the US Navy. There he again worked on jets and airplane mechanics. While stationed in Cecil Field and Jacksonville, he worked on plane simulators and helicopters; he was in the air squadron. Charlie was assigned to the USS Eisenhower when it toured the Mediterranean. As the ship was returning home, Kuwait was invaded so the ship turned around and went back to Desert Shield. He returned home shortly after a successful mission and retired from the Navy at NAS Jacksonville. His air wing was attached to the USS Eisenhower CVN 69. At every base he was stationed at, Charlie was involved in all sports including soccer, tennis and softball, as a player and/or coach. While stationed at NAS in Jacksonville, he pitched 3 no hitter games for his softball team, Mad Dawgs. Upon finishing his military career, Charlie again, went back home, to Danielsville, where he continued to demonstrate his love for sports and the Georgia Bulldogs. His love for the team was on full view at most all Georgia home games, and tailgate parties for a number of years with a painted “G” on his bald head. He also, coached several soccer teams for the Danielsville Recreation Department. He was a Lay Coach for the Madison Co. Middle School soccer team which won a regional championship. Many of his soccer players went on to play high school and college soccer and coach their own soccer teams. Charlie was clear in his vision for his athletes; he insisted that they learn to play the game and learn the game and not just a run around the field. He was instrumental in growing and getting the soccer program started at the Danielsville Recreation Dept. He also continued his love to fix things, by opening up a repair shop, Cherokee Golf Carts. His success in business can be directly attributed to his natural mechanical ability. He took pride in the fact that he always left his customers satisfied.
The most important thing that can be said about Charlie is he was a dedicated man who treasured his children and his family. He was proud and had a discipline he learned in the military that never left him as family and friends will attest. He cannot know how much he was loved and will be missed. Charlie is preceded in death by his parents, Joe Franklin O’Kelley Sr., Winifred O’Kelley, his sister Jacquelyn S. Barnett and her husband, Dawson Barnett, beloved aunts and uncles and his best friend, Mike Woods. He is survived by his wife, Marlyn MacDougald O’Kelley, children, Charles A. O’Kelley, Jr. and Shannon O’Kelley (Chris) and his grandchildren, Cordero, Elijah (Autumn) and Hannah, and his great grandson, Elijah Jr. He is also survived by his sisters, Vanessa O'Kelley Weathersbee, Tina Marie Gerling, Vicki O’Kelley Craft, Donna Jean O’Kelley and brothers Joe Franklin O’Kelley, Jr. and Robert O’Neil O’Kelley, and their families and his many cousins, and many nephews and nieces all of whom he loved and touched deeply.
A Celebration of Charlie’s life will be held on Saturday, June 8th at 1 p.m. at Bernstein Funeral Home. Family will receive friends from 11 am. Until time of service Saturday. The family sends a special thank you to Kindred Hospice team and caregivers.
Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
- Visitation Saturday, June 8, 2019
- Memorial Service Saturday, June 8, 2019