James P. Kelly Jr. was born March 9, 1966, in Oak Harbor, Washington to James Kelly Sr. and Rose (Meison) Kelly. James graduated from Mt. Baker High School and continued his education at the Northwest Indian College. He met the love of his life Joanne whom he loved unconditionally and would do anything for. They shared 40 wonderful years together. His heart swelled with love and pride for his children, and even more so when his grandchildren came into the picture. They were his proudest accomplishment. He showed the young men that you could be the strongest man and still cry if you needed to. He cried many “happy tears” of his own for his loved one’s accomplishments.
James spent his lifetime as a commercial fisherman, fishing in the Puget Sound, Alaska, and California. He also worked for the Nooksack Indian Tribe’s natural Resources and Tribal Works departments. The best and most rewarding job to him was being a loving but wild father and grandfather. His laughter filled the room because that’s what he did – he made people laugh. James loved to gather his family from near and far. He lived for those moments.
Throughout James lifetime he took in many nieces and nephews including Daryl and Chris and became the father figure that they needed because that was the humble man he was. James had a big heart and was know for helping anyone out. He never walked away without teasing you and leaving you with a smile. James generous hands and caring heart will be missed deeply by all who knew him.
James is preceded in death by his parents James Sr. and Rose Kelly; sister Raynette Kelly; uncles Clifford and Gordon Kelly; James is survived by his mate Joanne Williams; children David (Veronica) Kelly and Lisa (James) Rabang; brothers Ed (Candace) Kelly and Norman Kelly; uncle Robert Kelly Sr.; aunt Jenny Alvarado; grandchildren Haley Obrien, Saius Rabang, Isaiah Rabang, Shyann Rabang, David Kelly Jr. and Elaena Kelly.
A prayer service will be held on Wednesday, September 1, at 6:00pm at the the Nooksack Community Building.