Billie Rex Kelley

billie rex kelley
Bill R. Kelley, 89, passed away on Friday, October 2, 2015 in Arlington. Memorial Service: 4:00 p.m. Monday at Wade Family Funeral Home Chapel, 4140 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington. Memorials: Donations in honor of Bill Kelley are humbly accepted by the Alzheimer's Association North Central Texas, 2630 West Freeway Suite 100, Fort Worth, 76102, Bill “Coach” Kelley was born in Becton Texas on August 23, 1926. Bill graduated from Idalou High School in 1944. He attended Texas Tech University on a basketball scholarship. In his Sophomore year, his coaches; Dell Morgan and Polk Robinson persuaded Bill to play football. He lettered in football all four years at Tech 1944 - 1948. He also lettered in basketball and track 1946 and 1947. Kelley is the last of only six men to earn three letters in a single year in Texas Tech athletic history. Bill was also named All – Conference and All American Mention as end of the Red Raider Football team. He was also a member of the 1949 All Border Conference Mile Relay Team. In 1949, Bill Kelley was drafted into the National Football League by the Green Bay Packers. He played for the Packers under Curly Lambeau in 1949 and 1950. His third season was cut short due to a back injury. Upon retiring from professional football, Kelley joined the W.A. Holt Sporting Goods Company in Lubbock. He would later be promoted to Store Manager and ultimately Vice President of the company. In 1952 Bill married Mae Mitchel, and they have two children, a son Craig and a daughter Jean Ann. Mae Mitchell passed away unexpectedly in 1955. In 1963, Bill marries Pat Kelley and he adopts her children Kay and Richard. In 1964 Bill and Pat have their son Clay. In 1975 he founded Bill Kelley Athletic, a manufacturer of football helmets, shoulder pads, baseball and other protective products. Bill Kelley Athletic products were used by professional, college and high school teams nationwide. Throughout his life, Bill enjoyed time with family and thousands of rounds of golf with his friends known as “The Doctors Group.” He was 40 year member of Shady Valley Country Club. In 1980, Bill Kelley was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor. Married for 52 years to his wife Pat, they have five children: Craig Kelley, Jean Ann Barnard, Kay Hawrylak, Richard Kelley and Clay Kelley. They also have five grandchildren: Kamryn and Kathryn Hawrylak, Cole and Tyler Wade and Jake Kelley.

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  1. Dear Pat and family
    Jean and I are so sorry to here about Bill. You have our deepest sympathy at this time of sadness sorrow. Love and prayers to you and the family. We are sorry we will be unable to join you Monday.

  2. I am so sorry for loss of your dear loved one. Please accept my families condolences. It is so comforting to know that “God is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18. God also holds out a future for us to see our loved ones again. John 5:28:29.

  3. Pat, Clay, Richard, Kay, Jean and Craig:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Jacque and I have been praying for all of you.

    Since I heard Mr. Kelley was admitted to hospice last week, I have been thinking a lot about what you are all going through. I realized that loosing a parent is something almost all of us have either gone through or will have to go through. Death is unfortunately an inevitable part of life.

    Knowing your husband/father and who he was made me think of something I often tell my boys….”work had and enjoy it now because someday, somewhere, you will be told you can no longer play the game…” That is, a coach will someday tell you that you did not make the team.

    I don’t think Mr. Kelly heard that very often. He was a success on the field at apparently anything he tried. That success and sense of accomplishment bled over into other aspects of his life. He was not only a GREAT athlete, but a successful business man and I am sure a great husband and father. I am also sure that is why he was such a fighter until the end……it mus have been very difficult for him to realize he was no longer part of this game on this earth.

    In 4th and 5th grade, at the beginning of football season, Mr. Kelly would bring the Swift Falcon helmet decals to practice. He was as excited to give them to use as we were to receive them. He would help us put them on our helmets, making sure they were all straight and properly aligned and then he would stand proudly while we practiced at Fielder Park.

    Mr. Kelley was great and generous and everyone fortunate enough to know him will miss him.

  4. Dear Pat…. I know we haven’t heard from each other in the past years , but I just wanted to touch base with you ! I was reading the Lubbock paper and noticed Spike Dykes had spoken at Bill Kelley memorial service in Arlington ! I knew you married Bill Kelley so I googled Arlington funeral homes and found the Obit! My brother is in a nursing home in Arlington and I think I knew you lived there but we never made connections! Anyway , the memories came back to me the night of the tragedy in Slaton when I Came to be with you when we were so young and innocent with little kids! It was indeed the saddest thing that I had faced in my young life ! Anyway, I live in Waco now and I lost Jerry June the 4th, 2011! We moved from Lubbock a year before that so I could be closer to my daughter , Tuesday who just turned 50! Tim, my oldest son lives with me or I would be so lonesome ! He is 57 ! So sorry about your loss ! Would like to hear back sometime when you have time . I am 76 now and I feel like you are still the young cute girl I knew so many years ago ! You looked the same in the pics on the video they had on the obit ! Take care and my email is on the top ! My cell phone is 806-787-1887 …God Bless🙏🏻 Sharon

  5. To all of the Kelly family. I want to let know how sorry I was to hear about Coach Kelly. That was what I called him. We met when we were both sales Rep’s working for a jacket company in the late 90’s. He was a great Man & Friend. I loved all of the long talks we had over the years about Coach Bob Knight & Indiana Basketball & Texas Tech. I was in the Rep Business & owned my own company for 39 Years. I never &I mean never met a BETTER salesman than Bill Kelly The Legend of West Texas. RIP Coach Kelly. God Bless. Your Good Buddy From Indiana Phil Horn

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