RobRoy Kelly

Saturday, September 30, 2023 9:42 pm

RobRoy Barthel Kelly died Sept 26, 2023, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

He was born in Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 1, 1952. The family moved to KC in the ‘60s. He was an early adapter of computers, first building one of discrete parts in junior high. After completing high school, he joined the Coast Guard serving in secure communications in Vietnam. Shortly after discharge he married Hope Engelmann. Although they would later divorce, the union brought him two children which were his pride and joy. While unusual for the day, he juggled fulltime parenthood with working in electronics. He valued the friendship of those who mentored him, especially Dr. Jesse Metz. This he paid forward by acting as a resource for those less experienced than himself. Rob was always ahead of the curve and could reverse engineer anything he put his mind to. Case in point, he wire wrapped an entire Apple ][+ computer in 1979, 2 years after its initial release.

RobRoy was purposely the poster child for cheap. Yet he was never stingy with knowledge, encouragement, or friendship. He loved to find the just right card or gift for you. His favorite past time was fishing and enjoyed reminiscing on his fishing tales. Cancer did not stop Rob from being able to catch a few more! He has worked, fished, eaten, and found friends all around the world. He and his cooking will be greatly missed by many.

Predeceasing him are father RobRoy Kelly, special family friends Jeanette and Larry Zane, and brother Denri Kelly. RobRoy is survived by his mother Cherry Barthel (KC), stepmother Mary Helen Kelly (Tempe), son RobRoy (Becky) Kelly “RJ”, daughter Anne (Shane) Stiles, grandchildren Zane, Mckayla, Dylan, Ethan, Colton, Katelin, Madelin, 2 sisters Mary Gudikunst and Shaun Kelly, a brother Troy Kelly, several nieces and nephews, his former wife, and 30-year life partner Mary Hoffman. At the rainbow bridge will be waiting several dogs, many cats, and a pair of crows.

Per his request RobRoy’s remains are cremated. A celebration of life will be held at the Canton MN Presbyterian Church basement at the end of October with remarks by good neighbor and friend Rev Leroy Haynes. Rob’s last electronics project has passed to capable hands. He has left us several racks of ribs in the freezer. Memorials may be made to the “Money Pit Fund” c/o First Southeast Bank, Canton, MN 55922 to ready his home to serve refugee families. Or consider a donation to your local Humane Society.

Special thanks go to our neighbors, all the staffs at the Decorah VA Clinic, Winn Med Hospital in Decorah, and Gunderson Lutheran Hospital La Crosse, Wis.

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