The sun rose on February 2, 1945, in Blytheville, Arkansas, and God gave Victoria and Emmett Kelley, Sr. the responsibility of nurturing one of His precious children, Emmett Kelley, Jr., as the next to the oldest son of the family.
God looked around his earthly garden, saw a flower that was looking very tired and weary. God decided he needed that flower for his heavenly garden, and he spoke to Emmett, and said come on home to rest. Emmett closed his eyes on July 25, 2016, and went to be with God.
He was taught how to be a leader and the head of the household. He was taught that family is everything. In his early years, he worked as a bell hop at the Noble Hotel in Blytheville. In August of 1966, Emmett served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He received the Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. After serving in Vietnam, Emmett worked for Michigan State University as a baker and then in the Physical Plant as a plumber for ten years. In the early 1990s, Emmett was employed by the State of Michigan as a plumber and later as the assistant chief for the plumbing division.
Emmett was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents, Kattie and Grandville Johnson, Sr.; and siblings, Katie, James and ElRoy. He leaves to cherish his precious memory: his wife, Almeta Kelley; 3 children, Emmett Sean (Kristy) Kelley of Florida, Eric (Shaneka) Mask of Michigan, Erica Kelley of Ohio; 2 stepdaughters, Andrea and Cierra Kent of Michigan; 5 brothers, Walter Kelley of California, John Kelley of Ohio, Robert (Loir) Kelley of Texas, Earnest Kelley of Michigan, and William Kelley of Arkansas; 2 sisters, Dorothy (Rev. Theodis) Rucker of Arkansas and Rosa Williams of Chicago; and 4 special sisters-in-law, Deborah Brooks of Arkansas, Eulaha Adams, Christeen Cherry and Ernestine Taylor, all of Michigan.
The funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, 2016, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. His family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.