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Linn County News

Published Aug. 18, 2021

Donald Burnell Kelley, 93, of Mound City, Kan., died at his home on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. Don was born Jan. 5, 1928, in Enid, Okla., to Thomas Julius and Madge (Slaght) Kelley. While still a young boy, Don moved to California. At the age of 16 he joined the Merchant Marines, and in 1946 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps (which later became the U.S. Air Force). He retired from the Air Force in 1967 after selflessly serving his country for 21 years.

In 1947 he met the love of his life, Jane Hayden, on a blind date at Malibu Beach, Calif. They married on Feb. 3, 1948. She preceded him in death on Sept. 19, 2017, after nearly 70 years of marriage. During his military career, he and Jane, along with their daughters, lived in many places, including Alaska and France, but they always returned to California. In 1975 he and Jane moved to Mound City where he worked as maintenance supervisor for the city of Mound City until his retirement from civilian life in 1991. While living in Mound City, Don belonged to many organizations, most notably the Masonic Lodge. He and Jane became active members of the Mound City United Methodist Church and the Country Ramblers square dance club. Throughout his life he was extremely passionate about his love for God, family and country.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Ricky Kelley; sister, Judy Linam; son-in-law, Wes Friedman; and great-granddaughter, Kelley Tupin.

Survivors include his two daughters, Linda Friedman (Bill Peters) and Donna Parker (Rick); five brothers, Doug Payton (Carmen), Earl Payton (Elma), Jon Kelley (Bev), Jimmy Kelley and Tommy Joe Kelley; two sisters, Doris Dent and Sharon Tschetter (Jay); two grandsons, Kevin Tupin and Eric Tupin (Nicole); two granddaughters, Gaya Friedman and Michelle Collins (Roger Hochradel); and five great-grandchildren along with several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by numerous extended family members.

A memorial service will be held at noon Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, at Mound City United Methodist Church. There will be a visitation from 10 a.m. until service time. A private family burial will take place in Woodland Cemetery, Mound City. The family suggests contributions to Heartland Honor Flight, c/o Schneider Funeral Home, PO Box J, Mound City, Kan. 66056.  Friends and family may leave online condolences at


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