McGilley Memorial Chapel-Midtown

20 West Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO


James Kevin Kelly

March 21, 1943May 5, 2020

James Kevin Kelly, 77, Blue Springs, MO, passed away at home surrounded by family on May 5, 2020. Jim grew up in Kansas City, MO in a large Irish Catholic family, and was in the last military class to graduate from De La Salle Academy in 1960. After high school, he entered the new world of the computer age at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and quickly adapted and prospered. During these early years, he married Jane Brewer and had two sons, Christopher and Brendan (Linda). He later joined Zurich International and was transferred to Chicago. He married Wendella (Wendy) Blankenship-Barham in 1986, and they both immersed themselves in the diverse culture of Chicago. Jim retired from Zurich and owned a propane company, until ill health forced his retirement and a subsequent return to Kansas City. Jim slowly returned to good health with the love and encouragement of Wendy and he was able to pursue his greatest passions: golf, talking and spoiling his grandchildren. Jim was very loving, generous to a fault and quite ornery. He dearly loved family gatherings with his large extended family. He was constantly in pursuit of the best golf clubs and consequently had over a dozen sets, and a different matching golf outfit for everyday of the month. He was always on the lookout for the perfect gift for people he loved. Jim was predeceased by his father, Robert Kelly; mother, Kathryn Sommerhauser Kelly; and two brothers, Dennis and Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Wendy, of the home; sisters, Mary Pat Kelly, Sheila (Patrick) Geshwind and Geralyn (Rich) Kelly; his brothers, Bob (Debbie) and Terry (Kathy); his sons, Christopher and Brendan (Linda); stepson, Billy Barham; and granddaughters, Brittany, Alex (Brock), Bailey (Anthony) and Andrea (Allen); and six great-grandchildren. There will be a private service for the family at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Blue Springs on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 that will be Livestreamed on Facebook at 10:30 am at McGilley Memorial Chapel-Midtown.



  • Memorial Mass Livestreamed on Facebook at McGilley Memorial Chapel-Midtown

    Tuesday, May 12, 2020


  • A celebration of life will be scheduled for a later date


James Kevin Kelly

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John Steinhauser

May 27, 2020

Jim Kelly was not one to just watch life go by. He asked what he could do to help. Jim approached me at church to ask if he could assist with usher duties. There were vacancies and Jim joined in with others to help our church. He became a regular at the 9 am Sunday Mass. He did this even when he did not feel well. We would often talk after church and laugh at how each day of life was a bonus. His cheerful outlook and desire to stay involved will be missed. May God reward you richly for all your work helping others.


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