Kelley, Ernest Robert (Bob)


1922 – 2018

Ernest Robert (Bob) Kelley January 4, 1922 June 20, 2018 Bob was born in Portland, Oregon to Maurice and Elvira (Gaudin) Kelley. He attended Grant High School, class of 1939, after which he worked at various jobs until March 1943. By then, with WWII fully underway, Bob joined the Army Air Corp and began pilot training. By early 1944 he had earned his wings and was a second lieutenant. He had also met Dorothy Grace Williams during that period and in February 1944 they began a marriage that was to last until Dorothy’s passing in 2013, 69 years later. Bob was proud of having been a B-17 bomber pilot with the 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. On September 5, 1944 he survived a harrowing experience when his plane was shot down over northern France. Fortunately some brave local farmers were able to hide him and part of his crew from searching German soldiers and he was back in England within 17 days. When the war ended and Bob was discharged, he and Dorothy settled in Shasta Lake City where they lived until about a decade ago, Bob had retired as a meat salesman, and they relocated to Red Bluff. Even at 96 years old, Bob led an active life until his passing on June 20 at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, 5 days after suffering a large intracranial bleed. Bob is survived by his daughter, Ellen; his brothers, Raymond and James Kelley; sister, Bonnie Schimelpfenig; his sister-in-law, Iris Sobiski; many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, and sisters, Juanita Dimick and Joyce Kelley. A celebration of life will be held on Sept. 8, 2018 from 2pm-4pm at the American Legion Hall at 3297 Chestnut St, Cottonwood, California. Call Ellen Kelley at 530-528-0819 to RSVP.
Published in Daily News on Aug. 10, 2018.