Jay Kelley was born Oct. 18, 1943, in Caraway, Arkansas, to Mammie Ruth and Dolton Kelley. He passed away Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock, surrounded by his family. He was the oldest of seven children.
Jay was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Shirley and her husband, Les; a brother-in-law, Johnny Barlow; a sister-in-law, Sue Kelley; and an uncle, Clyde Kelley.
He is survived by his loving wife, Pat, of Benton; a son,
Jay P.; two grandsons, Caleb and Sam; the mother of his grandsons, Deb; a brother-in-law, Phillip Brown and his wife, Joyce, of Wynne, Arkansas; three brothers, Gary Kelley and his wife, Charlene, and Morris Kelley and his wife, Dianne, both of Marion, and Jim Kelley, of Southaven, Mississippi; two sisters, Patsy Foster and her husband, Glen, and Carol Barlow, of Marion; three nieces, Cara Evans and husband, Bryan, and their son, Ethan, of West Memphis, Kaye Cuzzort, of Palestine, Arkansas, and Kristi Beck and her husband, Robert, of Marion; two neph- ews, Ray Kelley, of West Memphis, and Keith Chrestman, of California; and many family members and friends who loved Jay and will miss him always.
Jay graduated from Arkansas State University. He was past master of Benton Masonic Lodge #34 and served his country in Vietnam. He worked for Union Carbide Corporation and J.M. Huber Corporation as plant manager. After retirement from Huber, he went to work for Cal Ark Trucking, which he said was the “best job he ever had.”
Jay was a devoted grandfather to Caleb and Sam. He was an avid golfer. Jay traveled a lot and “took Pat wherever she wanted to go.”
Per Jay’s request, there will be a private family burial at a later date.
The family would like to express their gratitude and much appreciation to the nurses and doctors at Arkansas Heart Hospital for the wonderful care they gave Jay during his short illness.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, at Smith-benton Funeral Home, located at 322 N. Market St. in Downtown Benton.
Services are entrusted to Smith-benton Funeral Home. Online guest book: www.smithfamilycares.com.