Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Father John J. (Joe) Kelley: 1920-2003

the Inland Register

(From the Nov. 13, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Father John J. Kelley Father John J. Kelley (Joe), a retired priest of the Spokane Diocese, died Oct. 28 at the age of 83.

The vigil was Thursday, Oct. 30, at St. Thomas More Parish in Spokane. The funeral Mass was celebrated the next day, also at St. Thomas More. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Father Kelley came to the diocese from Boston. He completed his seminary formation at St. Edward Seminary, Kenmore, Wash., and was ordained June 1, 1946.

He was an assistant pastor at Ephrata and Richland – the Diocese of Yakima was not yet established – as well as St. Joseph, Spokane, and Sacred Heart, Pullman, before he became pastor of Othello in 1956.

He was pastor in Walla Walla as well, at both Assumption (1960-68) and St. Patrick parishes (1968-70). In 1968 he was appointed dean of the Walla Walla Deanery.

In 1970 he was released from the diocese to take a full-time job as hospital chaplain with the Veterans’ Administration in California. He retired in 1985 and moved to Rockwood Lane in Spokane.

Father Kelley was the oldest of five. His sister, Sister Evelyn Kelley of the Sisters of Providence, died Sept. 18. Two other sisters, Jane Driscoll and Eileen Kelley, live in Massachusetts.

His other sibling, Sister Eileen Ann Kelley, also a member of the Providence community, had come to Spokane and was with her brother the day of his death.


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