M. D. Kelly, 85, husband, daddy, granddaddy and great granddaddy, passed away on May 5, 2020 at Westminster Oaks after a long illness. He was born during the depression in Bay County to William Grover and Essie Pearl Kelly, the 11th of 12 children. A true self-made man, M.D. learned the value of hard work and perseverance early on and carried those values with him throughout his life.
Work brought him to Tallahassee, where M.D. met Lena Smith and they married in 1955. They both loved to fish and spent many hours catching bream and catfish on the Ochlockonee River and later in their pond.
In 1968, M.D. founded Kelly Sheet Metal, Inc. which continues to thrive after over 50 years in business. He had an uncanny ability to assess and visualize ductwork issues and come up with less obvious solutions, always thinking outside the box. One of the important things he taught his family is that most anything can be fixed with duct tape.
He raised cattle for many years until he decided to indulge his passion for whitetail deer. He read and studied everything he could find, ultimately achieving his goal of growing bucks with antlers that scored over 300 inches.
At the heart of his Tallaflo whitetail deer farm was his favorite place in the world, “The Camp”, which was a no holds barred learning adventure for his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Between fishing, four wheeler adventures, petting fawns, building birdhouses and no telling what else, The Camp's motto never wavered What happens at The Camp, stays at The Camp!
M.D. was quick witted, always with a joke to tell or an old fashioned saying for you to ponder. And if you wanted to talk sports, he was Alabama all the way, Roll Tide!
He was a founding member of the Words of Life Church of God and loved bluegrass gospel music, especially The Primitive Quartet.
M.D., Daddy, Granddaddy, Pops was taken from us far too soon and is survived by his wife, Lena; daughters, Wanda Poppell (Ron), Diane Overstreet (Tom) and Taylor Thomsen; grandchildren, Ryan Overstreet, Ashlee Benson (Scott), Kayla Overstreet, Bailey Thomsen and Spencer Thomsen; great grandchildren, Castle, Berlyn and Gates Overstreet; and one sister, Estelle McKee. He was predeceased by his son-in-law, Matthew Thomsen.
The family expresses their thanks to the staff at Westminster Oaks Bertrand Health Center for helping us care for him over the past several months.
Private family services will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Inc., PO Box 2000, Boys Ranch, FL 32064 or your favorite charity.
Faith Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of the funeral arrangements. (850.539.4300 or www.faithfuneralhome.com)