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Bruce L. Kelly

March 20, 1951 November 18, 2016
Bruce L. Kelly
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Obituary for Bruce L. Kelly

Bruce L. Kelly, 65 of Paola, KS passed away Friday, November 18, 2016 following a brave journey with lung issues.Bruce was born to Richard L. and M. Ann Kelly in Dubuque, Iowa on March 20, 1951. His sense of adventure and fun became evident when at the age of 2 he set off for a stroll on his own. His mother found him on a stool at a local tap entertaining the patrons.Bruce was known in high school as the River King for his performance as the Captain of the Clinton High School football team. He also participated in wrestling, track and the Acapella Choir.After attending Coe College Bruce returned to Clinton to work in the family business, Kelly Burner and Boiler.Bruce had a lifelong love of music and theater. While in Clinton he played in several folk groups and was active in community theater, acting and directing with the Masquers Theater Group.Bruce went on professionally to specialize in industrial burners and boilers. This led him to a long and impactful engineering career in the power industry. He developed tools to optimize power plant performance and efficiency which are used worldwide. He was a member of Sega, Inc., Overland Park, KS for over 35 years as Manager of Power Plant Services.Bruce married his soulmate, Peggy Barthell, on June 20, 1980. Together they shared a love of animals and made their family of cats, horses and dogs. They were active in the Saddle Sirloin Club and Mounted Patrol. Bruce and Country Boy proudly served as Patrol Captain in 1999-2000.Peggy and Bruce enjoyed foxhunting with their horses and were active in three Kansas hunt clubs: Ft. Leavenworth Hunt, Mission Valley Hunt and Coal Valley Hunt.Music was a big part of their life. They promoted live music by creating the Open Range Concert series in Paola, KS. They also sang and played in the Bound By Faith acoustic band at Saint Andrew Church and in a duo-trio group, Flying Blind.Bruce played during open mics at The Bluebird Caf in Nashville, TN and Club Passim, Cambridge, MA.Bruce is characterized by friends and colleagues as a multi-talented man who cared about others. He mentored young engineers and encouraged other musicians. He was kind, intelligent, creative and always working to make things better for others.Bruce is survived by his wife, Peggy, mother, Ann Kelly of Morrison, IL, brothers Brian Kelly of Morrison, IL and Brett (Amy) Kelly of Maitland, MO, sister Lisa (Brian) Davis of Midland, TX as well as aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.A celebration of Bruces life through a memorial concert will be held at a later date in the Kansas City area.

FUNERAL SERVICE: 12 Noon, Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at the Morrison Chapel of the Bosma-Renkes Funeral Home OFFICIATING: Rev. Michael I. Orsted, Bruce's brother-in-law VISITATION: 10:00 A.M. until the time of the service, Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at the Morrison Chapel of the Bosma-Renkes Funeral Home INTERMENT: Elvira Cemetery - Elvira, IA

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