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David A. Kelly

Obituary

 

David A. Kelly, 89, of Grand Coulee, Washington, passed away on Monday, November 30, 2015, at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, Washington. He was born July 6, 1926, in Los Angeles, California, and spent his childhood growing up in Ashland, Oregon, and later Portland, Oregon. He was the last survivor of eight children born to John and Emma Kelly. During his youth, David was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. David enlisted in the Army while he was in high school and served honorably in the European Theatre during World War II, as well as the Army Reserves following the war. He was a graduate of Jefferson High School in Portland.

David married Ledora Pinkston on December 2, 1950, in Mill City, Oregon. Their nearly 65 years of marriage took them many places across the country, due to the nature of his career in the construction field. David began his career as a surveyor and later became a civil engineer, working on many landmark hydro projects on America's great waterways, including the Columbia, Sacramento, Colorado, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. He was an instrumental figure in the construction of Detroit Dam in Detroit, Oregon; The Dalles Dam in The Dalles, Oregon; Glen Canyon Dam, in Page, Arizona; and the Third Powerplant at Grand Coulee Dam. He had a hand in many other hydro locks and dam projects, including structures near Parkersburg, West Virginia; Alton, Illinois; and Red Bluff, California. Near the end of his career, he was a project engineer on the powerhouse expansions at Rock Island Dam and Bonneville Dam. Additional projects included the construction of a golf course in Surrey, British Columbia, and the freeway interchange project on Mercer Island, Washington.

David always immersed himself in the many communities he lived in by actively volunteering at his church, being a little league or wrestling coach, becoming a member of the local golf course, and participating in a number of fraternal organizations. He enjoyed traveling and always took the family on a yearly vacation to interesting sites that were not only fun, but also educational in nature. As his work career was winding down, he built a retirement home in Mehama, Oregon, where he loved being in the forest and raising cattle. Many cherished memories took place in that home, where the family frequently gathered for holidays and the annual Fourth of July bash. He and his wife Ledora returned to Grand Coulee to live near their daughter approximately 16 years ago. David was a true American patriot who loved his country and actively kept up on politics. He did his part to promote our freedoms and support the Constitution. He was a kind and generous man who frequently gave to the poor and downtrodden. He will surely be missed by many.

Survivors include his wife, Ledora Kelly, Grand Coulee; three children: Darrell Kelly, Austin, Texas; Diane (Bob) Babler, Grand Coulee; and Boyd (Cathy) Kelly, Stockton California; six grandchildren: Peter Kelly; George (Amy), Sanford, North Carolina; Paul (Amber) Kelly, Oregon City, Oregon; Aaron (Melissa) Kelly, Hampshire, Illinois; David Kelly, Salem, Oregon; Justin (Heather) Babler, Eltopia, Washington; and Sarah (Wade) Alling, Grand Coulee. He is also survived by a number of great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

At David's request, there will be no services. A family interment with military honors will take place at a later date at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. Suggested memorials would be to the Union Gospel Mission, http://www.uniongospelmission.org or to the Grand Coulee Senior Meals Program.

Special thanks is extended to the Okanogan Valley Transportation Service and to the caring and professional staff at the Omak Dialysis Center who lovingly provided dialysis treatments to David over the past five years, extending the years he could be with his family.

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