Samuel Keel Kelly



LANCASTER, SC ~ Samuel Keel Kelly, 78, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. His three children were at his side to comfort him as he departed at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, SC. His cherished wife, Barbara Joan Smith Kelly, preceded him in death in April 1997. He was born May 31, 1940 in a farm house in Castlewood, VA.

Keel, as he was known to his relatives and friends, was much beloved as a father, grandfather and brother. He was a devout Christian and Sunday school teacher at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster. Even as his health declined, he looked after his older sister who resides in Bristol, VA and volunteered at HOPE of Lancaster to help those less fortunate. Keel always placed the welfare of others ahead of himself.

Professionally, Keel was an accomplished chemist in battery manufacturing at Duracell, Inc. for over 35 years. A highlight of his career was the personal delivery of batteries to Apollo 12 shortly before its launch. After his retirement in 2002, he served right up until his death on ANSI and IEC boards to set International safety standards for certain type of batteries. He also served a term on the Planning Committee for the City of Lancaster. Keel was a member of the Lancaster Men’s Prayer Breakfast Club and the Lancaster Rotary Club and was the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award.

Keel Kelly was loved and respected by everyone that knew him. He never missed an opportunity to dote on his grandchildren, of whom he was very proud. We shall miss him but understand that he finally gets to reunite with the love of his life.

Mr. Kelly is survived by his three children, Susan Kelly Rogers and her husband, James “J.K.” Rogers of Ardmore, OK, Stephen Kelly of Lancaster, and Michael Kelly and his wife, Laura “Missy” Kelly of Bristow, VA; his sister, Lucille Kelly of Bristol, VA; and five grandchildren, Matthew Rogers, Andrew Rogers, Rachel Kelly, Kelly Rogers, and Alexander Kelly.

The Celebration of Life Funeral Service for Mr. Kelly will be 3:00 pm Saturday, June 23, 2018, at The Chapel of Burgess Funeral Home by Rev. Timothy Espar. Burial will be at Temple Hill Memorial Park in Castlewood, VA at a later date.

The family will receive friends one hour before the service, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm, at Burgess Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, PO Box 1082, Lancaster, SC 29721.