Funeral services for Wendell Kelley, 84, formerly of Portales, will be held at 11:00 AM, Wed., Jan. 3, 2018 at the University Baptist Church with Rev. Steve Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the Portales Cemetery with Kevin Kelley, Perry Kelley, Donald Stuart, Matthew Kelley, Josh Turner and Dylan Stuart serving as pallbearers. Military honors will be rendered by VFW Post 9515 of Portales.
Carter Wendell Kelley, known to virtually everyone as Wendell, was born Dec. 11, 1933 in Gordonville, TX to the home of Lois (Holt) and Carter Evans Kelley and died early on the morning of Jan. 1, 2018 in Lubbock, TX. When Wendell was very young his family moved several times, but in about 1943, they settled in Portales. In 1951, he enlisted in the U. S. Army, and served in the 465th Dump Truck Company as a Combat Engineer. Wendell served in Korea during the Korean Conflict, and was wounded twice while there. As a result, he was awarded two Purple Hearts. The first time he was wounded was at Chosin Reservoir when a phosphorus grenade exploded. The second time occurred while he was helping to clear a mine field.
In 1955, Wendell returned to Portales, and on June 10, 1955 in Bledsoe, TX, he was married to Cecile Smith. In 1956, they moved to California, where he attended Barber School. After finishing his training, he worked in a shop owned by a gentleman by the name of Steve Preston. Wendell later purchased the shop, and operated it for several years. Later he worked in two other barber shops before returning to Portales and purchasing the Sands Barber Shop. Wendell sold the business in 2007, and he and his wife moved to Lubbock to be nearer their daughter and their medical providers.
For several years after coming to Portales, he was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church, but in the early 1990's, he moved his membership to the University Baptist Church. In addition to the church, Wendell enjoyed the fellowship of the Portales Masonic Lodge #26 AF&AM. Together, he and his wife kept an immaculate yard. Wendell enjoyed camping and fishing as well as traveling. He had a small woodworking shop, in which he produced numerous children's toys, and a number of items of furniture. He also completed a several welding projects.
Wendell is survived by two sons, Steven Kelley and wife, Pat of Las Vegas, NV and Perry Kelley and wife, Amy of Salt Lake City, UT; a daughter, Cindy Stuart and husband, Donald of Lubbock, TX; a daughter-in-law, Lorna Kelley of Logan, UT; 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Jean Crozier of Monahans, TX. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Frank Kelley, and by Cecile, his wife of more than 62 years, who died only three days prior to his own death.