James J. Kelly

Thursday, April 23, 2015 3:29 pm

James J. Kelly, Sr., 76, lifelong Canton, Minn. area resident, died Sunday, April 19, 2015, at the Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis. Funeral mass is at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 23, at the Assumption Catholic Church in Canton, Minn. with Msgr. R. Paul Heiting officiating. Burial is in the Calvary Cemetery in Canton. Visitation is from 4 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, at the Assumption Catholic Church and one hour prior to services. There is a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Church.

James was born Aug. 7, 1938, in Decorah, to Francis and Mary (Knox) Kelly. He attended the Prosper School and then the Canton High School. At 16 years old he started working for Surity Waterproofing in Rochester. He married Lauretta Cyr Oct. 30, 1960. They operated Kelly Locker in Canton and he also had milk truck route. They later divorced. He married Vergene Wangen in Canton Aug. 23, 1980. He worked for Carlson Company in Decorah for 32 years and part-time for Oak Meadow Meats in Harmony. He was a retired member of the Canton Fire Department and enjoyed spending time with his family, giving the grandkids tractor rides, satisfying his sweet tooth, celebrating his Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day and his dog, Tanner.

Jim is survived by his wife Vergene of Canton; children: Tammie (Kenneth) Scott of Chisholm, Minn., Lauretta (Allen) Mart of Chisholm, Tina (Devry) Kerns of Canton, Jamie (Makaila) Kelly of Canton, James Kelly, Jr. of Harmony, Bradley (Michelle) Kelly of Acworth, Ga., Eugene Kelly of Canton, and Tonya (Tom) Burke of Harmony; a step-son Duane (Becky) Gorder of Tower, Minn.; 16 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; three sisters: Marilyn Erickson-Anderson of Houston, LaDonna (Cleon) Brenno of Canton and Mary Faith ( Lynn) Martinson of Monona; two brothers, Douglas (Rita) of Rochester and Bob (Lisa) of Dodge Center.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son David Kelly; a daughter Brenda; granddaughter Abby; and brothers: Frank, Jr., Leo and Paul.

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