OBITUARY

Norman Francis Kelley

March 9, 1936August 7, 2019
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Norman Francis Kelley, 83, of Salem, Oregon, passed away on August 7, 2019 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Norm was born in Monterey Park, California to Jack Cooper Kelley and Mabel Frances (Goyen) Kelley. He grew up on a farm in Santa Rosa, CA with his 4 siblings: Joyce, Donald, Colleen, and Sue. He attended a one-room schoolhouse, where he was given the nickname “Butch”. The family moved to Grants Pass, Oregon in 1945, and later to Reedsport, Oregon, where Norman met his future wife, Alice Laskey. Norm’s mother suggested he meet a girl at their church, saying, “I think you’ll find her very interesting.” She was right.

Norm graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1954. He studied at the University of Oregon and at Linfield College. After graduation, he served in the Army for two years, stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He returned to Reedsport and was married on June 23, 1961, to Alice, the love of his life. They lived in Reedsport while Norman worked as a logger for his father-in-law over the summer to finance law school. In the fall, they moved to Salem, where Norman got his law degree from Willamette University.

Norman began his law career in private practice in Woodburn, Oregon. He then worked for the State of Oregon as an Assistant Attorney General and as an Administrative Law Judge for worker health and safety. He also taught classes in workers’ compensation law at Willamette University. Norman retired in 1997.

Norm and Alice made their home in rural West Salem starting in 1964. They loved their home, garden, and woods, and enjoyed many good times with their wonderful neighbors.

Norm and Alice have two daughters, Amanda and Becky, whom they loved very much; Norm proudly pronounced them the “World’s Best Kids.” He was glad to welcome his sons-in-law, Aaron and David, into the family. Later in his life, he also dearly loved his two granddaughters, Kendra and Zora.

Norm enjoyed sailing his boat, the Nightwind, on the Columbia River, in Yaquina Bay on the Oregon Coast, in Puget Sound, and around the San Juan Islands. The boat’s name came from his love of night sailing, with the wind thrumming in the sails and shining lights reflected in the water. Norman and Alice joined the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club in Newport, and Norm served as Commodore during 1983 and 1984. His comfortable boat never won any races, but was always well stocked for regattas and floats.

Norm loved spending time in nature: camping, hunting, fishing, and boating, especially at Floras Lake on the Southern Oregon coast. He had a curious mind and a wonderful memory. He loved reading, especially books on history and nature. He enjoyed carpentry and had a large shop full of tools. He loved music, and took his children to the symphony, the opera, and the ballet.

Norman was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in college. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, and served as Church Moderator and on various committees over the years. Norman was a charitable giver of his time and treasure to many people and causes. He was known for his kindness, and it made him happy to help others.

Norman was preceded in death by his siblings Donald Kelley and Joyce Mattheus, and by his wife Alice Kelley. He is survived by his daughters Amanda Weller (Aaron) of Portland, Oregon and Becky Kelley (David Edelstein) of Seattle, Washington; granddaughters Kendra Weller and Zora Kelley Edelstein; sisters Colleen Donatt and Sue DeCloedt (George); cousins Marcia Chiaudano and Jim Laskey (Ann); nephews Ken Mattheus, Doug DeCloedt, David Teitzel, and Dan Teitzel; and nieces Julie Palmer, Jill Johnson, Nancy Errico, Cathleen Caesar, and Deborah Arce.

The family would like to thank neighbors June and Ian Deuchars, caregiver and friend Patti Byrd, and the staff at Orchard Heights in Salem, Pacific Gardens in Portland, and Housecall Providers Hospice, all of whom provided for Norman’s safety and comfort in his final years.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Calvary Baptist Church.

A funeral service followed by a reception will be held on Saturday, August 17th at 1:30pm at Calvary Baptist Church (1230 Liberty St SE) in Salem, Oregon. Visitation will be from 10 to 12pm at Howell, Edwards Funeral Home in Salem.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, August 17, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, August 17, 2019
  • Reception Saturday, August 17, 2019

Memories

Norman Francis Kelley

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Kurt-Alexander Zeller

August 23, 2019

I encountered Norm only a handful of times, all back in the few years immediately following when Amanda, Aaron, and I met as young musicians of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but all these decades later, I still remember the manifest delight he took in being surrounded by young people having a great time. He would invite as many of us Green Show performers as wanted to come out to dinner when he visited Amanda in Ashland and then would sit, beaming, as we all laughed and talked and chowed down on meals our meagre salaries did not allow us to afford for ourselves. (Norm was the first person who ever bought me lobster!) I'm sorry to say that I don't think we ever thanked him enough, but he always seemed to be the person who was enjoying the evening the most.

Norm and Alice generously opened their home to the Green Show alumni several times as we worked on concert programs for the Early Music Guilds of Oregon and Seattle and prepared for Amanda's wedding at the historic Zena Church. (When he tactfully pretended that somehow I had managed to execute all the keyboard music perfectly, despite the dead notes on the church's equally historic pump organ.) Those occasions always seemed as much party as preparation, thanks to the Kelleys' warm hospitality--and to the indulgently avuncular pleasure with which Norm always appeared to be surveying the proceedings.

Norm will be missed and remembered fondly by many, and I offer his family my deepest condolences.

Don Watson

August 16, 2019

Amanda, Becky and family - Norm and Alice were wonderful people. Linda and I have so many treasured memories of being with them at Calvary Baptist Church in Salem. We are not able to attend your father’s memorial service so are sending our love. So thankful that we were in their circle of influence for many years.

Kristen Grainger

August 14, 2019

Dear Kelley family —
I was sorry to learn Norm had passed away. I knew him years ago at the Oregon Dept. of Justice, where I also worked for several years. But I mostly knew him through my then spouse, Kevin Shuba, a summer law clerk who DOJ eventually hired to do OSHA work with Norm. He (Norm) adopted Kevin like a son, taught him all about that area of the law and told him amazing stories about loggers and fishermen and others injured on the job. When anyone uses the phrase, “salt of the earth,” I always think of Norm Kelley. He was warm, kind, caring. He was also a brilliant attorney with immense integrity; someone from whom a newly-minted attorney could learn a lot. I was happy he was able to retire so young and enjoy many years of well-earned time in the outdoors with Alice and his family, of whom he spoke frequently with great affection. I am proud that his warm light shone on my little life for a few years. He was one of the best. My sincere condolences to all of you for your loss, and my compliments to the person who wrote his worthy obituary; it was excellent.

Anna Song

August 12, 2019

Sending much love to Amanda and her entire family...I never had the privilege of meeting Norman but knowing Amanda tells me what a wonderful person and father he must have been. Continued prayers for you all this week and weekend...Anna Song

Jill Johnson

August 9, 2019

Sending much Love and sincere condolences to Amanda, Becky, Colleen, Susie, and their families. Norman-"Uncle Norm" to me, was always very warm and engaging to me, and I enjoyed his easy humor and fun personality. I'll never forget his funny remark about wine-at a family gathering we were drinking some wine (from a "box") and he called it a "buzz in a box", and we laughed and laughed! I also have great memories of going to their home in Salem, and playing with my Cousins Amanda, and Becky, and we always felt very welcome there. He will be greatly missed.

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