Longtime Claremonter, grandfather, car and sports enthusiast
Wendell Scott Kelley, 76, died early Saturday March 31, at the Sunny Rose Glenn Memory Care Facility in Menifee, California. The longtime Claremont resident had been battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of William Kelley and Dorothy Lantz, Mr. Kelley attended Youngstown State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He spent his career working in the steel industry; first in the mills and then in sales and management for steel packaging companies. The Kelley family, including his wife, Carole, daughter, Kris, and son Brian, moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1969. A second son, Kevin, was born in 1971. The Kelleys moved to Claremont in 1979.
“Kelley,” as he was called by all who knew him, enjoyed traveling and would pack up his family to road trip across the country. He had a passion for cars and sports. Some of his happiest days were spent on the baseball fields of Claremont coaching both of his sons in little league, his family shared.
This continued on with him cheering for his grandchildren from the stands—on the fields, the court and in the pool. He was proud of all of their accomplishments, and would talk to anyone who would listen about all of them. Mr. Kelley made friends in a matter of minutes, was never short on conversation and was the life of the party, his family added.
He leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Carole; daughter Kris, sons Brian and Kevin; sister, Sandy Meden; cousin, Joan O’Hora; and grandchildren, Sebastian Rivera, Katelyn Kelley, Brennan Kelley, Oliver Rivera and Riley Kelley.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 18 at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, 33866 Calle La Primavera, Dana Point, California, 92629. A lunch reception will follow.
Donations in Mr. Kelley’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association by visiting act.alz.org/ goto/Wendell_Kelley.