Vernon B. Kelly, age 69, resident of rural Lawton, ND, died Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND.
Vernon Brian Kelly was born August 10, 1950 near Brocket, ND, the son of John Edward and Adelia (Anderson) Kelly. He was raised on the family farm and attended school in Brocket, and graduated from Lakota High School in 1969. He served in the U.S. Army from March 9, 1970 until his honorable discharge on November 10, 1971. He continued serving throughout the years in the Army National Guard. He served with the transportation unit from Show Low, AZ during Desert Storm from 1990-1991. He also was a member of the American Legion at Brocket, where he served on the Color Guard for funerals of his many friends. Following his Army discharge, Vernon attended carpentry school at Lake Region Junior College in Devils Lake. He then farmed with his father, Ed, on the family farm. Vernon was Santa Claus for years, which made his day by seeing the joy in the eyes of many children. In 1973 he took over the operation of Brocket Oil from Adolf and Georgia Balek. He served on numerous boards throughout the community during this time. Vernon started Farmland Co-Op during the gas shortage in the 1970’s. He made sure the local farmers & businesses weren’t without fuel. While working in Kansas City, MO for Kelly Waterproofing, he met the love of his life in 1982, Denise, and was married in 1984. They moved to Payson, AZ where he worked for the Arizona Department of Transportation, while having a cabinet and countertop business on the side. Vernon drove a fuel truck in Minnesota before moving to Smithville, MO. He began missing farm life and moved back to North Dakota in 2001, where he worked for the Sundeen and Swanson farms until his death.
Vernon will be deeply missed by his wife, Denise Kelly of Lawton; 2 sons, John Kelly of Langdon, ND and James Kelly (friend, Ashley Knofler) of Kansas City, MO; a daughter, Shannon Kelly of Mesa, AZ; a brother, Dale (Judy) Kelly of Kansas City, MO; 2 sisters, Marcia (Ed) Nelson of Minneapolis, MN and Colleen Thompson of Garrison, ND; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and 5 brothers, John, Jim, Kenny, Denny, and Rodney.
The Funeral Service for Vernon will be held at the Lawton Lutheran Church, Lawton, ND, on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Officiating will be the Reverend Jodi Myrvik. Interment will be in the Lawton Cemetery. Military Honors will be conducted by the ND Military Funeral Honors Team. Visitation will be held at the Aaker Funeral Home of Lakota, ND, on Monday, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and will continue at the church on Tuesday, from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service.