Harcourt Anthony "Joe" Kelley

harcourt anthony kelley

September 1, 1937 ~ August 14, 2023

Born in: Yonkers, New York
Resided in: Pueblo, Colorado

Joe Kelley of Florence, Colorado passed away in his sleep on Aug. 14, 2023, after years of battling with Alzheimer’s.
Harcourt Anthony Kelley “Joe” was born to Francis and Josephine Kelley on Sept. 1, 1937, in Yonkers, New York, growing up there with many of his siblings who have preceded Joe’s passing. Joe loved growing up in New York, often sharing stories of his childhood, he especially loved the Yankees, New York pizza and cheesecake.
He enlisted into the Air Force just after his 17th birthday, he served as a jet engine mechanic during the Korean Conflict. After serving his contract he went to work for Pan American Airlines, he is a graduate of New York’s culinary arts school and went on to win many awards for his cooking and owned several restaurants over 20 years, the last 20 years of his career he worked for FEMA often deploying to disasters throughout the country, in between he was a school bus driver and a volunteer fire chief, he is a lifetime member of the American Legion.
Joe met and married Betty Jean May of 1976, the two shared life together for 42 years before her passing in 2018. He enjoyed long walks with his dogs Red and Haley.
He is preceded in death by Betty Jean; all his siblings; his son, Ricky. He is survived by his wife, Jackie; sons, Randy and Michael; daughter, Tammy; 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Joe served many roles in his life, but none as important as being Papa to so many. When his grandchildren would visit, whether it be weekends or summer breaks, he would always go the extra mile to make sure they knew and felt that they were the most important thing in his life. Joe loved being Papa, from deep sea fishing with his grandsons, to just sitting on the floor with his granddaughters dunking cookies in milk or giving them a stuffed teddy bear and then he would load them into the bed of his truck for a trip to the river to go wading. He would always go out of his way for a veteran, and was especially proud of his sons, grandkids and nieces and nephews, there were many, who served in our military. Joe’s interment took place Pikes Peak National Cemetery.
As his Alzheimer’s progressed, many worried we would be forgotten, but then Papa would say something that told us he hadn’t forgotten us. We will love and miss him forever, but we find comfort knowing he is reunited with Betty Jean and those loved ones who preceded him in death. Online condolences, www.MontgomerySteward.com


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  1. This breaks my heart. Papa Joe was the grandpa I never had. I’m thankful for the 5 years he took me under his wing and I’ll never forget those great memories and cooking lessons. All my love goes out to those who knew and loved Papa Joe. He is greatly missed.

  2. RIP Joe…in 1987 Joe & BJ were best man and woman at my wedding…we all rented a house on the beach in Chincoteague, VA and my reception was 4 wheeling on the beach. Joe was a wonderful man, great story teller and fabulous cook. Sadly we lost touch with them many years ago and I have wondered about them many, many times over the years. RIP Joe & BJ, you both were amazing people! ❤️ love, Sheryl Smith Weller

  3. Mike I just want to thank you for the honor and opportunity you gave me and the trust you put into me with the care of your father. He was an amazing, funny and wonderful man to be around and could light up any room he was in. He will truly be missed. Hugs, Loves, and Prayers to you and your family from me and mine.

  4. Best Man Ever. So many Happy memories. Loved our special Virginia Beach vacations, holiday celebrations, wonderful meals with Uncle Joe and Aunt BJ and their fabulous meals… spaghetti and giant meat balls. Wonderful, nervous walk along the golf course trying to move my labor along so I would deliver before he left town… So many laughs, wonderfully big shoulder when tears came… best hugs… always smiling. Miss you so much Uncle Joe. I know you are up there teasing mother again… You told the best stories about growing up in such a large family… good times and bad… she always loved you so much too. You are the heart of the Kelly family… always will be

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