Created June 12, 2018
- This eternal flame burns forever
- in remembrance of Chaplain (Col.) Benjamin F. Kelley
Chaplain (Col.) Benjamin F. Kelley
August 31, 1927 - June 9, 2018
Chaplain (Col.) Benjamin F. Kelley, 90, died on June 9, 2018. He was born
on August 31, 1927, in Jamestown, Arkansas to Tinsley Vaughn Kelley and
Margie Kelley. He is survived by his wife, Mary Cook, who he married on
August 24, 1945. He is also survived by sons Benjamin Kelley, Jr., of
Montgomery, Alabama, Bruce (Peggy) Kelley from Batesville, Arkansas, and
John (Gretchen) Kelley from Cassopolis, Michigan, and his sister, Bettie
Sue Sage of Tremont, Illinois. He was blessed with nine grandchildren and
21 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, sisters Grace
Kelley and Lavon Barnes, daughter in law Kathryn Kelley and two great-
grandchildren, Kathryn and Micah Kelley.
Ben graduated from high school in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 1945 and from
Arkansas College in 1950. He graduated from the Central Baptist Seminary in
Kansas City, Kansas, in 1956. He served as a Corpsman in the Navy at the end
of World War II. He pastored in churches in Arkansas and Missouri from
1950 until he became an Air Force Chaplain in 1960. During his career he was
stationed in Colorado, France, California, Korea, Nebraska, Iceland and
Arkansas. At the time of his retirement he was the Staff Chaplain for the
15th Air Force Headquarters. His military decorations and awards included
the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation
Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Ben served as a Volunteer Chaplain for the FBI in Little Rock for several years.
He was also very active visiting people in the area hospitals and homes.
He belonged to the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville and was a 32nd Degree
Visitation will be on Wednesday, June 13 from 4:00 to 7:00pm at A Natural
State Funeral Home in Jacksonville with Masonic services at 6:30pm. The
funeral service will be on Thursday, June 14 at 10:30am at the First Baptist
Church in Jacksonville with burial to follow at the Arkansas Veterans
Cemetery at 12:00pm.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers donations be made to the First Baptist
Church or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of A Natural State Funeral Service,
2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076.
Though He's gone, He is not forgotten.
Though absent, He remains in spirit.
Though once a worker, He now rest.
by The Arkansas Good Sams
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