Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Fred Kelley

June 21, 2020
Holland, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Hospice of Holland
270 Hoover Blvd
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 396-2972
Driving Directions
Web Site

First United Methodist Church
57 W 10th St
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 396-5205
Web Site

Beach United Methodist Church
155 Bay Road
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
(239) 463-9656
Web Site

Maine Maritime Academy
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Fredric Kelley of Holland passed away peacefully in the early morning on Sunday, June 21, 2020. He fought a courageous battle against pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure.

Fredric was born on December 6, 1939 in Grand Rapids to Bert and Jean (Adams) Kelley. He attended South High School (1957) and graduated from Maine Maritime Academy (1960). He furthered his education with a degree in history from Western Michigan University. In 1961, he married his high school sweetheart Carolyn Bulthuis. Together they raised two surviving daughters, Elizabeth (Jim) Root, and Heather Kelley (David Hop).

Fred sailed the oceans of the World as a Merchant Marine and a Naval Reservist. Fred later taught at West Ottawa Public Schools and worked for the BSA. He later ran his own company, Ride Equipment. He sold school busses for several companies, including Hoekstra Equipment. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Holland. In 2000, he married Virginia Dooley, who survives him along with her daughters, Kerry Hayward, Courtney Dooley; grandchildren, Brittany, Stephan, and Kylie.

After his retirement, he was often found sailing on his boat, ‘Amazing Grace’ or driving his candy red 68 Camaro in town or at the annual Woodward Dream Cruise. Grand Caymen and river cruises were special to him. Part of the winter was spent in Carlos Point in Fort Myers Beach Florida.

He is also survived by his granddaughters, Eliza Root, Emeline Root as well as his sister Nancy Kelley of Ludington, nephew Adam Jurkowski, his New York family and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Hospice of Holland, Maine Maritime Academy, First United Methodist Church, or Beach United Methodist Church.

A celebration of life will be held on July 21, 2020 at 1:00pm at the Kelly residence in Holland.