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Friday, August 25, 2023
9:30 - 10:30am (Central time)
Friday, August 25, 2023
Starts at 10:30am (Central time)
Phillip Kohler Kelley departed this life, at the age of 91, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, at Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo., following injuries sustained from a traumatic tractor accident at his home. He was born Sept. 14, 1931, to Phillip Kelley and Velma Kohler Kelley.
Phillip grew up on his family’s farm where he learned to raise cattle at an early age. He attended Lone Tree School and graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1949. He was stationed in Germany on active duty with the U.S. Army from March 1952 to February 1954.
Phillip married the love of his life, Velda Lee Kircher, on March 28, 1954, at the First Christian Church in Harrisonville, where the couple remained lifelong members. For many years, Phillip served in various church roles and attended services there until his death.
At first, the couple farmed near the community of Lone Tree, Mo., later moving to Archie, Mo., where they lived for many years. In 2000, they built a home on Phillip’s family farm, atop the hill on 2 Highway East known by most in the area as “Thrill Hill.” Phillip was very proud that the family farm, established in 1908, was officially recognized as a Missouri Century Farm.
In addition to farming, Phillip also sold insurance for Patrons and Farmers Mutual for many years. Phillip was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and was involved with the Cass County Historical Society.
Phillip was a familiar face in Harrisonville, often visiting the banks, restaurants and stores. He enjoyed attending area auctions, bidding on items to add to his collections of everything from belt buckles to bullet pencils to hammers and tools.
He was witty and clever and he loved discussing politics with anyone and everyone. But Phillip’s first love was his cattle. In spite of several health issues in his later years, he found a way to continue raising and caring for his cattle, right up until the end.
Phillip was preceded in death by his wife, Velda Lee; his parents, Phillip and Velma; and his twin sister, Margaret Kelley Fox. He is survived by three nieces and their families: Sherry Kircher Osburn, husband Dirk, and son Will; Jamie Kircher Bowers, husband Troy, daughter Samantha, and son Joe; and the Rev. Dr. Ann Kircher; and two nephews and their families: Tim Fox, wife Carolyn, and son Sam; and Eli Kircher.
In addition to his family members, he is also survived by his good friend, Keith Knoche, and Keith’s family, wife Kathy, and their daughters, Kaitlyn and Kelsi; as well as a host of other friends.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, at Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, Mo. Services will immediately follow visitation, also at the funeral home, with burial at Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville, Mo. The Rev. Teresa Spear, Interim Pastor at the First Christian Church, will conduct the services.
The family asks that when you think of Phillip, you remember him as a man of faith and character. But most importantly, think of him as a “collector,” not of things, but of friends, for he never met a stranger.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the First Christian Church of Harrisonville or to the Sons of the American Revolution (www.sar.org).