James E. Kelley 90, WWII veteran, POW, industrial engineer

By on January 16, 2013

James Edward Kelley, 90, of Luther Acres, Lititz, died Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at Lancaster Regional Medical Center.

Jim was the husband of Mary Harris Kelley for 59 years before her death in 2008. They lived most of their lives in West Lawn and spent 16 years as snowbirds in Palmetto, Fla.

Born in Covington, Va., he was the son of the late Hillary Kelley and Lillie Snead Kelley Morris, and stepson of the late Emmett Morris. Jim grew up in Henderson, N.C.

During WWII, 2nd Lt. Kelley was an Army Air Corps B17 pilot with the 711th Bomb Squadron, 447th Bomb Group in Northern France and Rhineland. He was one of nine survivors of his 11-man crew when the plane was shot down during Jim’s second mission. Taken prisoner and sent to Stalag Luft 3, he became a guest of the Fuhrer, until being liberated by Gen. Patton’s army at the end of the war.

Using the GI Bill, Jim graduated from North Carolina State University with an engineering degree and worked as an industrial engineer for Western Electric, part of AT&T, first in Greensboro, N.C. He was later transferred to Pennsylvania.

Jim was a member of West Lawn United Methodist Church, West Lawn Lions Club and Telephone Pioneers of America. He loved the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies and rooted for N.C. State or Duke in college basketball. An avid reader, he enjoyed vacationing in Myrtle Beach. Jim dearly loved his grandsons and great-granddaughter.

Surviving are two daughters: Linda K., wife of George R. Huff, III of York; and Jean Kelley Johns of Lititz; four grandsons: Greg Huff of Vienna, Va.; Erik Huff of Ashburn, Va.; Michael, husband of Candace Ramsey Johns, and their daughter Gracie Johns, of Landisville; and Andrew Johns of Lititz; and his sister: Virginia A. Morris of Palm Gardens, Fla.

Jim was preceded in death by six siblings.

Services will be private, with interment at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville. Please omit flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to West Lawn U.M.C., 15 Woodside Ave., West Lawn, PA 19609; or to Hospice & Community Care, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125.

To send the family online condolences, visit SnyderFuneralHome.com.

Arrangements were handled by Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory.