Jack William Kelly was born during a blizzard on December 29, 1941 in Marquette, MI and died in the early morning on a beautiful spring day on March 28, 2018 at his home in Pullman, WA. Jack grew up in the mining town of Palmer in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with his parents William and Elma (Ilkka) Kelly and his sister, Carol. Together, they built the family “camp” at Bass Lake complete with a sauna. Jack graduated from Negaunee High School and attended Suomi College in Hancock, MI where he met his wife of 54 years Karen (Sallila) on choir tour. He earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN and then earned a Master’s of Divinity in 1968 and a Master’s in Theology in 1985 from Northwestern Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN.
Jack was an ordained Lutheran pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and served congregations in Tacoma, Auburn, Renton, and Everett, WA; Helsinki, Finland; Gresham and Portland, OR; and Circle Pines, MN. He worked for a short time as Dean of Students at Luther Northwestern Seminary. In 1994, he became a real estate agent in Everett, WA and retired in 2009 when he and Karen moved to Moscow, ID.
Jack was inspired to move west from the stories and travels of his aunts, Orelia Kelly and Gen Williams who spent the summers in Glacier National Park and owned property outside of Deary, Idaho. He loved mountaineering and hiking. He climbed Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and the Grand Teton. As a pastor, he hiked with church members into Holden Village in the Cascade Mountains. Jack was also a marathon runner completing four races in the Twin Cities, Seattle, Duluth, and Seaside.
Jack loved singing in chorales and traveling--starting with the Suomi College Choir tour where he met his wife, Karen. Both of them loved singing in church choirs and they were avid members of the Everett Chorale and the Palouse Choral Society, and they traveled with these groups to China, Europe, and New York. Jack was also an avid reader and remained a student of history, theology, and music for his entire life. He and Karen went on multiple mission trips to Africa with the ELCA.
Jack is survived by his wife, Karen of Pullman, WA, three children and five grandchildren: Becky (Kelly) Keran, husband Tim, and sons, Peter and Sam of St. Paul, MN; Diane Kelly-Riley, husband Michael Riley, and sons, Will and Steffen of Potlatch, ID; and Philip Kelly and son Austin of St. Paul, MN. He is also survived by his sister, Carol Anderson and husband, Terry, of Grand Junction, Colorado. He has many cousins, nieces, and nephews in the US, Finland, and Sweden.
Funeral services will be held for Jack on May 26, 2018 at 2 PM at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Moscow, Idaho; burial will follow at Freeze Cemetery in Latah County. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to make a donation to the book collection at your local public library or to the National Park Foundation: https://www.nationalparks.org/.
National Park Foundation
Web: http:www.nationalparks org/.