Robert Prater Kelly, age 88, beloved brother, husband, and father, proud grandfather and veteran, of Lincoln, Nebraska died on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 with family at his side in Lincoln. He was born on December 28, 1922 in Dallas, Texas to Eli Hughes and Adelia Mae (Prater) Kelly. He was raised on a central Texas ranch during the depression and took over the family farm and ranch operation at the age of 14. Robert married Linda Lou Forson of Valley Mills, Texas on November 28th, 1949. He proudly served in the US Army Air Forces during WWII as a gunnery instructor and flew combat missions in the Pacific Theatre from March 22, 1943 until his honorable discharge on November 23, 1945. Robert earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from Texas A & M University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management from Colorado State University and was a Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Colorado State. He taught high school vocational agriculture in Colorado from 1953 to 1960. He then worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado and Wyoming. Robert then worked as an assistant supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Indiana and Illinois. Robert retired in 1986, after 28 years of service, as the Nebraska State Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Robert was also was active in 4-H, FFA, and was a substitute teacher after retirement. He held lifetime teaching certificates in Texas, Colorado, and Nebraska.
Robert was a lifetime member of the NRA; a member of the Masonic Lodge #53 in Dubois, Wyoming; a 32nd degree mason with the Scottish Rite in Lincoln, and a member of the Sesostris Shrine in Lincoln; his hobbies included raising, training and showing registered Quarter horses, photography, and Jeeping in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming.
Robert is survived by his wife, Linda of Lincoln; his son, Clay and Denise Kelly of Malcolm, Nebraska; granddaughters, Brittany and Chelsea Kelly; sister, Virginia and Jim Bradish of Covina, California; nephew, Jim Bradish of Diamond Bar, California. He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter Susan C. Kelly.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 10:00 A.M. at Wyuka Cemetery.
Burial with Masonic Honors and Military Honors will be in Wyuka Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation.