Cover photo for John "Jack" Kelley's Obituary
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1929 John 2021

John "Jack" Kelley

January 30, 1929 — November 14, 2021


John "Jack” Kelley, 92, of Lancaster passed away peacefully at his residence on November 14th, 2021. He was born in Lancaster, Ohio to the late Dr. A.M. and Esther (Ochs) Kelley on January 30th, 1929. He was a 1946 graduate of Lancaster High School, a 1950 graduate from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts, and a 1953 graduate from The Ohio State University College of Law with his Juris Doctorate. After college from April 1953 to March 1955, Jack served as a Corporal in the Army overseas and received the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Upon on his return from the Army, he began his law practice with Drinkle, Martin & Kelley in the Equitable Federal building and then later opened a partnership with Ron Stoughton on East Chestnut Street, specializing in probate and guardianship work throughout Fairfield County. Jack loved all things about Lancaster and devoted countless hours towards many different organizations. He was a devoted and faithful member of Emanuel Lutheran Church and served as a member of the Church Council, an Elder and Deacon, a 50-year member and past president (1981-1982) of the Noon Rotary Club, former vice president of Friends of the Lancaster Parks & Recreation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Fairfield Heritage Association,  now known as the Fairfield County Heritage Association, record keeper for the Lancaster High School Class of 1946,  a member of the Lancaster Community Service Organization, Symposiarchs, Jaycees,  and many more organizations. Jack and his wife Nolene were also strong supporters of the Fairfield County Heritage Association through the donation of many different artifacts. Jack was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his daughter, Megan E. Kelley of Lancaster; grandchildren, Emily (Nick) Bailey of Lancaster and Derrick Kelley McCormick of Chicago, IL; great granddaughters, Sophia Bailey and Adalyn Bailey of Lancaster; brother, Donald E. (Ann) Kelley of Grand Rapids, MI; sister-in-law, Virginia Koch of Lancaster,  nieces and nephews, Jane (Dave) Wickert, Mike Chappell, David Chappell, Christopher (Valerie) Kelley, Steven (Josie) Kelley, and John (Nancy) Kelley, Holly (Roger) Miller-Downour, John Miller, Michael (Jennie) Koch, David (Cindy) Koch, Barbara (Tom) Bindrim, special friend of the family, Alice Penrose, and many great nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife Nolene K. Kelley, his parents, Dr. A.M. Kelley and Esther (Ochs) Kelley, sister and brother-in-law, Christine (Bob) Chappell, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dale and Elaine Koch, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Jennie (Koch) and Harold E. Miller.
Caring Cremation™ has taken place through the Frank E. Smith Funeral Home. A memorial service officiated by Pastor Mark Raddatz, will take place at Emanuel Lutheran Church on Thurs., June 2nd, 2022 at 11AM with an hour of calling prior to the service. Burial of Jack and his wife Nolene's cremains will follow at Forest Rose Cemetery with the Lancaster Veteran Burial Detail having honors.  Donations in Jack’s name can be made to, the Fairfield County Heritage Association, Emanuel Lutheran Church or Central Ohio Hospice. Online condolences can be made at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)

Emanuel Lutheran Church


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