Captain Kelly, of Wagener, S.C., died Sunday, June 10, 2012, at Aiken Regional Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was 70 years old. Mike served two tours in the United States Army’s 1st Signal Brigade Aviation Detachment during the Vietnam War. After he left the Army in 1972, his passion for flying continued throughout his lifetime. Mike was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, Columbia, S.C., hangar.
Mike was a graduate of Belmont Abbey College. After working for a chemical manufacturing corporation, he retired early at the age of 56. Mike was an all-around “handy-man” who could build or repair anything, mechanical or otherwise. Mike was an expert marksman and gunsmith.
Mike is survived by his wife, Gail Tate Kelly of Wagener, S.C.; son and daughter-in-law, John and Milena Kelly, of Charlotte, N.C.; daughter, Christy Kelly, of Stanley, N.C.; son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Carol Kelly, of Huntersville, N.C.; grandchildren, Philip Kelly, Devan Upton, Will Upton, Emily Kelly, Alexander Kelly, and Claire Kelly; sisters, Lynn Sowell and Carol Kelly; and step-son, Aaron Smith, his wife Elizabeth and their son Jack. Mike was preceded in death by Linda, his wife of 39 years.
Mike will be laid to rest on Thursday, June 14, at 1 p.m., at Hillcrest Gardens in Mt. Holly, N.C. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund or to Praying for Paws, 289 Jonesboro Rd., Suite 266, McDonough, Ga. 30253. McLean Funeral Directors of Belmont is serving the family. www.mcleanfuneral.com.