Cover photo for Robert Kelly's Obituary
Robert Kelly Profile Photo

Robert Kelly

February 28, 1952 — January 20, 2021

Robert Kelly

Robert Kelly, 68, of Atlantic, Iowa, went to be with the Lord Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at Heritage House, Country Grove, in Atlantic.

Robert Gail Kelly was born on February 28, 1952, in Atlantic, Iowa, to John Homer and Ruth Elaine (Strickland) Kelly of Anita. During his early years Robert enjoyed spending time with his grandfathers, Clarence Strickland and Paul Kelly working on the farm or helping fix all kinds of machinery. This experience led him to become proficient with most machinery repairs and developed a strong work ethic that lasted his entire life. During his childhood, Robert also loved the many fun times he shared with his cousins.

Around the age of 10, his family moved from Anita to Atlantic, where he attended school and played trumpet in the band. Robert also worked at Safeway during his high school years. He graduated from Atlantic High School in 1970. Robert was also known for his dark green 1966 Ford Fairlane, “his pride and joy”, that he fixed up and drove to and from trade school in Kansas City. On June 19th, 1971, he married Jean McClure and soon after enlisted into the United States Army. Robert attended basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, and was then stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado before being sent to South Korea. During their time in Colorado Springs, Robert and Jean welcomed Robert “Shane” Kelly into the world.

While stationed in South Korea, Robert was sent to the demilitarized zone numerous times, where he was exposed to Agent Orange. He was a field wireman, line construction foreman and played the trumpet in the Division Band. He later met Nancy Hinson and they were married on April 17, 1976, in Kansas City, Missouri. Robert and Nancy had two sons, Michael and Johnie. Robert worked for 25 years at the bearing plant in Atlantic and was very involved in the local VFW, American Legion and Atlantic Color Guard. Many neighbors and friends were thankful for his willingness to help with any of their needs.

Robert was a good-hearted man, he was known for mowing lawns and removing snow for many people in need, expecting nothing in return. It wasn’t uncommon for him to open his home to family, friends or anyone he felt could use his help. When he wasn’t giving the shirt off his back, Robert was a fisherman, camper, league bowler, Pittsburgh Steeler fan, carpenter, and a Ham and C.B. radio enthusiast going by the handle “Handy Man”. Robert loved to spend time teasing nieces, nephews, and grandchildren fondly referring to them all as “George”. He was privileged to be a part of the VFW Honor flight in 2014, and always looked forward to his annual trip to Virginia to visit Shane; they made many trips to D.C. where he was able to attend the last Rolling Thunder event.

Robert is survived by his mother and step-father, Ruth and Ardell Eiben of Atlantic; wife, Nancy Kelly of Atlantic; sons, Shane (Amy) Kelly of Moyock, North Carolina, Michael (Angelic) Kelly, of Atlantic, John “Johnie” (Angie) Kelly of Atlantic; grandchildren, Caleb (Ashley), Hunter, Jeffrey, Jack, Willow, Stevie, Nick, Lizie, Ethan, and JJ; siblings, Ron (Carolyn) Kelly, Jerry Kelly, Stephen Kelly, Janet (Paul) Ruhr, and Mark (LeAnn) Kelly; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, and a close family friend, Tracy Auerbach, who was always there to care for him in his time of need.

He is preceded in death by his father, John Kelly; grandparents, Paul and Birdie Kelly, and Clarence and Doris Strickland; sisters-in-law, Vicki Leib and Betty Kelly; brother-in-law, Regin Rugaard; nephews, Harley Ruhr, Craig Ruhr, and other beloved family members and friends.

Visitation, with the family present will be from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 26th at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic. Open visitation will be held prior to the family visitation on Tuesday starting at 8:00 a.m.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 27th at Roland Funeral Home. Burial with military honors by the Atlantic Color Guard will be held in the Atlantic Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed at the link below.

Face masks will be required and social distancing observed during the visitation and service.

Memorials may be directed to the family for designation at a later date.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Robert’s family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at

Robert Kelly

February 28, 1952 - Atlantic, Iowa

January 20, 2021 - Atlantic, Iowa

At the age of 68 years, 10 months & 23 days

1:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Roland Funeral Service - Atlantic, Iowa

Dave Beroth
Hillside Hope - Atlantic, Iowa

“God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood
“The Other Side” by Colton Dixon
“Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill

Stevie Kelly
Caleb Kelly
Grant Kelly
Mac Kelly
Josh Park
Cole Park

Hunter Kelly
Nick Dolch
Jeffrey Kelly
Lizie Kelly
Jack Kelly
Ethan Kelly
Willow Kelly
JJ Kelly

Josh and Jacque Park

Atlantic Cemetery - Atlantic, Iowa

Atlantic Color Guard - Atlantic, Iowa

Memorials may be directed to the family for designation at a later date.

Following services at the cemetery the family invites you to join
them for lunch and fellowship at Roland Funeral Home.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Kelly, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Starts at 1:30 pm

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Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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