It is with great sorrow that we announce that Past Department Commander Isaac “Ike” Stephen Kelley has joined Post Everlasting.
Isaac “Ike” Stephen Kelley, of Dinwiddie, Virginia, a loving husband and father, passed from this world on the morning of April 23, 2021 at the age of 72.
Ike was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on December 28, 1948 to Bonnie Lucille (Everett) and Isaac Franklin Kelley II. His father being a military man allowed Ike to live in numerous locations growing up, with some of his more entertaining stories from his youth coming from the periods when he lived in Montana, Hawaii and Germany, amongst many other places. A natural athlete, Ike excelled at sports throughout his young life with a particular fondness for baseball and the New York Yankees. Perhaps because of his military upbringing, or because of a calling from the state of his birth (the Volunteer State), Ike enlisted in the Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam as a member of the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized). Upon being wounded and spending a year in a military hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Ike was honorably discharged from the Army and returned home to Tennessee, where he attended Middle Tennessee State University while getting his first taste of the National Park Service at Stones River National Battlefield. It was at MTSU where he met his loving wife of 45 years, Winnie Denise (Huntley). They soon left Murfreesboro for the white sands of the Eastern shore, where Ike was a park ranger for two years at Assateague Island National Seashore prior to his arrival in Petersburg. Ike had a long career in federal law enforcement, acting as the Chief Ranger at Petersburg National Battlefield for 28 years, retiring in June 2005.
Ever-proud of his military service and once again volunteering his time, Ike became active in the American Legion later in life. An active member of Post No. 2 in Petersburg, Virginia, he worked tirelessly, serving in numerous positions as an advocate for active members of the military and veterans, eventually rising to the high office of Department Commander for the state of Virginia from 2012 to 2013. Upon his retirement from the Park Service, Ike travelled often, embarking on numerous long car trips. Travelling often with Denise and his faithful canine companion, Biscuit, who passed away last year and was surely ecstatic over his reunion with him this week, they saw much of the country, always excited for the next roadside attraction. In addition to road trips and searching for buried treasure, Ike had numerous hobbies which he passionately pursued; including, but certainly not limited to, extensively decorating the house for Christmas, fishing in the Outer Banks and cheering on the Big Orange (the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team), who he proudly saw become National Champions in 1998.
Ike was preceded in death by his father, Isaac, of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is survived by his mother, Bonnie, of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Still sorting through his years of auction and estate sale purchases is his wonderful wife, Denise of Dinwiddie, Virginia. Still trying to determine if all the songs Ike sang as they grew up were actual songs or just songs he made up are his three children, Amy Kelley (Steven Shoul) of Hanover, Virginia, Isaac Kelley (Kathryn Riedlinger) of Washington, D.C. and Nathan Kelley (Alison Caison) of New Kent, Virginia. Ike was a proud granddad to four grandchildren, Finn, Hollis, Maryn and Ada. Left with a lifetime of memorable events and fond moments are his two sisters, Janice Kelley, of Asheville, North Carolina and Deborah “Debbie” Gaddis, of Chattanooga, Tennessee; and five nephews and nieces, Chris, Katie, Justin, Bonnie and Patrick.
A private celebration of his life, including full military honors, will be held for immediate family and dear friends at a later date. Please, no flowers. Donations in his name can be sent to Namozine Volunteer Fire & EMS Co. 4 of North Dinwiddie, Virginia ( namozinefireems.org/donate ); if you would like to have memorial trees planted in his name to contribute to the reforestation of our National Forests, please visit arborday.org/memory . That said, the best way to honor Ike is to often share your fond memories and funny anecdotes of and about him and to simply, live your best life. To share a memory of Ike or send a condolence to his family please visit monaghanfunerals.com . Arrangements by Monaghan Funeral Home in Mechanicsville, Virginia.