The Norman Transcript

Obituaries

April 2, 2014

Thomas Jefferson Kelly Jr.

NORMAN — Thomas Jefferson Kelly Jr., 85, of Moore, passed away Saturday, March 29, 2014, following complications at Midwest Regional Medical Center. He was born Dec. 26, 1928, in Altus, Jackson County, to Thomas Jefferson Kelly Sr. and Annabelle (Spann) Kelly. He had many nicknames throughout his life. He was known throughout his life as Tommy, TJ, the Duke, Tom, Tomzak, Doc Kelly, Doctor Tom, E-ah, Hee Haw and Dad.

He was a 1946 graduate of Altus High School, where he played football, wrestled and played baseball for the Bulldogs. He was also a member of an Altus High School Boys Social Club. He was offered a football scholarship by Southeastern Oklahoma State University but chose to attend and wrestle for the University of Oklahoma under legendary coach Port Robertson. He was primarily a 177- and 189-pounder, but had also competed at 168- and even the 157-pound classes. He received his Bachelor of Science in business from the University of Oklahoma on Aug. 7, 1950. While attending OU, he was a member of Delta Tau Delta (Delta Alpha) fraternity and helped install the Delta Tau Delta (Delta Chi) chapter at Oklahoma State University. He was also an Army ROTC Officer candidate while attending the University of Oklahoma.

Throughout high school and college, he worked in the beer distribution business for Kelly Distributing, the largest distributor of Anheiser-Busch products west of St. Louis. After graduation, he moved to Edmond, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in biology with minors in chemistry and business from Central State University (UCO). He graduated on May 27, 1954.

He was a member of the First Christian Church of Edmond, where he met Frances Jean (Shaw) Sanford, whom he married on Dec. 22, 1956. They were married at the First United Methodist Church of Moore by the Rev. Lord of the First Christian Church of Edmond.

After graduating from Central State University, he enrolled at Kansas City Western Dental College (University of Missouri — Kansas City), where he graduated June 1, 1958, with a Doctor of Dental Surgery. He lived in Columbus Park in Kansas City with the D’elisio family and loved Kansas City for its great barbecue, great blues and jazz music. He considered Kansas City “the poor man’s New York.”

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