Sam Kelly, Jr., 91, of Rawlins and most recently the Saratoga Care Center, passed away peacefully on the morning of Saturday, December 9, 2017. He was born April 6, 1926, in Rawlins, to Sam and Pauline Kelly and lived his entire life in Rawlins. Sam graduated from Rawlins High School in 1944, and enlisted in the Army-Air Forces in October, 1944, as a private. He received an honorable discharge in November, 1945, after serving in the military police. He returned to attend college at the University of Wyoming, graduating in 1950, with a Bachelors Decree in Business Administration. He married Margaret Boyer of Torrington, Wyoming, on May 5, 1951. He worked summers of 1945, 1946 and 1947 for Rawlins Electric. He bought half of the Texaco Bulk Dealership in Rawlins from Gale Finley in February, 1948. He ran the business summers while still in College, with the help of his father Sam Kelly, Sr. the first few years. He eventually purchased the entire dealership and the old stone building, Courtesy Texaco, at Cedar and Second Street, all of which he operated until his retirement. Sam acquired and invested in real estate throughout the years and absolutely loved investing in the Stock Market. He was certainly considered to be a sophisticated and successful investor. He made his own investment decisions up until the time of his death. He even dabbled in the cattle business with good friends, Dick and Peggy Hiser, John and Sonja Collamer and Dr. John Lunt. Sam was known throughout his life for his business acumen, tough negotiating skills, his mastery of numbers, and unwavering integrity. He had an amazing memory and stayed sharp as a tack until his death. Sam and Margie traveled extensively to many places around the world, most often to experience nature and the wildlife it supports. His traveling partners were Snooks and Viv Hopkins, Marvin and Mabel Harshman, Bob and Marian McCord, as well as Peg and Bill Swanson and Leonard and Joan Page. Ted Hopkins became one of his best and most faithful friends over the years and Sam was very appreciative of that bond. Sam and Margie were fans at UW football and basketball games for years, and still purchase two season football tickets every year in support of Wyoming Athletics. He served in Rawlins Kiwanis Club, a Charter Member, and as President for two terms. He loved his service on the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission for four years, was President of the Wyoming Oil Jobbers and served as a Trustee for the National Oil Jobbers Association. He was a founding investor in Wyoming Bank of Rawlins and subsequently a stockholder in Rawlins National Bank. He was a member of BPOE #609, and served for years as a volunteer for the Rawlins Fire Department. He loved supporting the community he worked in and fighting fires. Sam had many interests, reading voraciously to learn throughout his entire life and became quite computer literate. In addition to traveling, he was an accomplished photographer, loved fishing with his buddies, Elmer Erickson, Neal Kirk, and Quinn Johnson, going to his cabin in Ryan Park with his wife, Margie, and various golden retrievers over the years, Spot, Strike, Storm, Flame, Major, Chipper, Barf, Stoney and Sargent. Maybe most of all, flying his Cessna 206 was the love of his life. He started flying in 1964 and was extremely proud of the fact that his wife and son, Kurt, obtained their own private pilot's licenses. Sam would want to thank all at Saratoga Care Center for their wonderful and patient care and all of those friends and family who visited, called, emailed or Facebooked during the last few years of his nursing home stay. He had the support of the entire Town of Saratoga as he covered that town and various construction projects on his mobile electric chair. He went everywhere, getting stuck by the river once and falling out of his chair once picking up a quarter. Sam is survived by his wife of 66 years, Margaret, one son, Kurt, and his wife Chrissie, a granddaughter Krista (Nate) Young, and four great grandchildren, Trey, Caleb, Rylee and Skylaar. Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Sam Kelly, Sr. and Pauline Kelly. Services will be held Thursday, December 14th, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Rawlins, with a Rosary the evening before, Wednesday, December 13th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Church. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice, but Sam always had a special place in his heart for animals, owning an eagle, hawks, raccoon, coati mundi, badger and even a parakeet, as pets throughout the years. The family would certainly suggest Pet Partners of Carbon County, Inc., Box 4000, Rawlins, WY 82301 as a suitable local charity. Colorado State University Veterinary Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, held a very special place in his heart due to their golden retriever cancer research. Donations may be made to Kari's Fund, Flint Animal Cancer Center, 300 W. Drake Road, Acc 209, Ft. Collins, CO 80523. Arrangements are entrusted to Jacoby Funeral Home, Rawlins, Wyoming.
Thursday, December 14, 2017 10:00am
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
207 W. Pine
Mass of Christian Burial.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:00pm
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
207 W. Pine
915 Third St.