James ‘Harold’ Kelley


James ‘Harold’ Kelley
July 13, 1952 — May 14, 2024

James Harold” Kelley, 71, of Pinedale, Wyo., passed away peacefully in Tulsa, Okla., surrounded by loved ones on May 14.

Harold was born in El Paso, Texas on July 13, 1952. He was the oldest child of James Pete” and Marjorie Kelley. The family moved to Buffalo, Okla., when he was a child – and he graduated from high school there in 1971. At 14, Harold started working the wheat harvest from southern Texas, north into South Dakota and eastern Colorado, running a combine at $2 per hour plus room and board. During the school year, he hauled drilling mud, worked as a butchers assistant and plowed roads, among other jobs.
He married Alinda Lake in 1972, and through this union, they had two children, JB and Windy Kelley. They remained committed to raising their children together after they divorced.

In his early 20s, Harold operated heavy equipment in Alaska, which included driving over ice roads. This adventure inspired him to attend Central Tech in Drumright, Okla., where he completed a heavy equipment operator program. Harold then worked on a seismograph crew living in 10 states within five years before being hired by Sun Oil to work at Cordero Coal Mine in Gillette, Wyo., in 1977. He took pride in operating and maintaining heavy equipment at the mine until he transferred to the Kennecott Uranium Mill north of Rawlins, Wyo., in 2005.
After retiring in 2012, Harold moved to Pinedale to be close to his daughter – and, he helped care for family in Cushing, Okla.

Harold was first and foremost a proud parent. He loved spending time with his kids, creating memories, and guiding them on the journey of life. He valued being outdoors for work and play, and had a passion for hunting, riding his motorcycle, tinkering on projects, adventuring and simply living life. He enjoyed traveling both near and far, experiencing the places he traveled by not only seeing” but also doing.”

Harold was courageous and maintained his positive attitude and sense of humor throughout his illness. He will be remembered as a man of values and integrity, dedicated to his family and work. He was an intelligent, appreciative, unassuming man with the kindest, most gentle heart – who will forever be loved.

The family is grateful for each medical professional, and the support staff who were instrumental in his care during his final years.

Harold was preceded in death by his dad, James F. Pete” Kelley, and his son, James B. JB” Kelley.
He is survived by his daughter, Windy Kelley of Pinedale; his mom, Marjorie Kelley of Cushing; his brothers Royce Kelley (Cindy Roper) of Saratoga, Wyo., Gary Kelley (Kay) of Whitehouse, Texas, and George Kelley (Cindy) Phoenix, Arizona; his daughter-in-law Lydia Kelley of Gillette; and his granddaughter Audrianna Glasscock (Zach Gray) of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
He is also survived by aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many beloved friends.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at Condolences can be sent to Windy Kelley at P.O. Box 542, Pinedale, WY 82941.

obituary, James Harold Kelley obituary, Sublette County