Wilburn H. Kelley, Jr

Born in Santa Fe, TN on April 2, 1932

Departed on December 22, 2016 and resided in Fairview, TN

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Wilburn H. Kelley, Jr, age 84 of Fairview, passed away on December 22, 2016 at NHC Place at The Trace.

A native of Santa Fe, TN, in Maury County, he was the son of the late Wilburn H. and Vercie Irene Kelley, Sr.

Wilburn had an extensive career of service to the Fairview community and Williamson County. He began at College Grove High School before teaching and coaching Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball at West (now Fairview) High School. From there he became Principal at Fairview Elementary, where he served 7 years. He was elected to serve for 8 years as County Judge in Williamson County, before taking on his final teaching and coaching positions at Fairview High School, retiring in 1994.

He came from humble, even poor, conditions but spent his life focused on education and working to provide for his family. He rose above the rough times to help others and care for them. He always found the best in those around him and encouraged people to improve themselves through work and education. He was a staunch believer in the Fairview School System for the quality of it’s teachers and the programs offered. In his free time he was an avid ‘Coon Hunter.

Wilburn is survived by “the best wife he ever had”: Janice Peach Kelley (of 56 years); his "favorite oldest daughter" Dana (Richard) Forsythe, his "favorite youngest daughter" Eve Seybold, his "favorite oldest son" Bruce (Vanessa) Kelley and his "favorite youngest son" Blake Kelley; four grandchildren: Philip Walker, Mariah Seybold, Adam Seybold and Cherish Kelley; and 5 great-grandchildren: Lyla, Preslee, Clayton, Colin and Cameron.

The family will receive friends for visitation on Friday, December 23 from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. and again on Monday, December 26 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home on Highway 100. A Celebration of Life Service will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. on Monday. The family will gather at 3:00 p.m. Monday at Sunset Hills Cemetery in the Theta Community of Maury County for burial, with Military Honors provided by the United States Army.

The family requests memorial donations be made to the Fairview High School Athletic Department, 2595 Fairview Blvd West, Fairview, TN 37062

33 Comments to Wilburn H. Kelley, Jr

    December 22, 2016 1:24 pm


  2. Preston and Lori Mangrum
    December 22, 2016 3:46 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Mrs. Kelley we love you with all our heart. Dana, Eve, Bruce and Blake we love all of you to. You all mean so very much to us. We love you. So sorry for your loss. Lori and Preston mangrum

  3. Debbie Proffitt
    December 22, 2016 7:02 pm

    Thinking of you Sissy, Dana, Bruce, Eve and all the grandkids. Prayers are with you all. Wilburn was always kind to me, he will be missed. Love you.

  4. Bobby woodard Jr.
    December 22, 2016 7:48 pm

    My family will miss my Ole buddy. He had been a good friend to our family since I was a child. With a lot of late night advice while coonhunting over a few decades I am sure and positive that some of my success in life can be largely a big contribution to the admirable influence of wilburn. He also was the best coonhunter and had good dogs.

  5. Jan Grow
    December 22, 2016 8:14 pm

    Janice, Blake and family…you have my sincere sympathy in your loss of Wilburn. He was a true & kindly southern gentleman. Our boys—- your Blake and my son, Kevin Martin, played baseball together with coaches Larry Spicer and the late Wayne Sullivan and were in the same class in school. Kevin also just lost his father on May 1. Janice, I remember having some funny and good conversations with you many years ago. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers and may God bless you all with His peace, comfort and love to sustain you thru this sad time.

    Warmest regards…..Jan Grow

  6. Tammy Starkey Garrison
    December 22, 2016 8:20 pm

    Old buddy and cousin you will missed. My heart goes out to the family. He was a great man, great teacher and everyone loved him. If there is anything we can do let me know. Love and prayers for the family.

  7. June Covington Caldwell
    December 22, 2016 8:32 pm

    Janice and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Wilburn was a great guy and I was so lucky I got to know you from the school district to the dentist office. It has been a long time since I have seen your family but I have fond memories. Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you at this sad time in your lives.

    June Covington Caldwell

  8. Rex Buttrey
    December 22, 2016 9:04 pm

    One of the greatest men I have ever had the pleasure to meet

  9. Mapco
    December 22, 2016 9:19 pm

    Sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to the family. From all the employees at Fairview Mapco.

  10. Rosie Warren
    December 22, 2016 9:28 pm

    Janice and family just wanted you to know we are praying and thinking about you during this sad time. God Bless.

  11. Phyllis (Dorris) Jones Kim and Billy (Alysa and Seth)
    December 22, 2016 9:29 pm

    Sending our love, prayers and sincere thoughts to Janice and all the family. Rest in peace Mr. Kelley ?

  12. Linda Hunter Jones
    December 22, 2016 10:03 pm

    My heart feels your pain, may God continue to bless you and keep you STRONG during this heart breaking time…I’m very sorry for your loss.

  13. Dale Gentry
    December 22, 2016 10:26 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Mr. Kelly was a great man and I am proud to have known him. He had a positive impact on many people throughout his lifetime.

  14. Mandy Sullivan
    December 22, 2016 11:44 pm

    I am speaking for the whole staff at Bank of America … Mr. Kelley was one of our favorite customers and he will be truly missed . I don’t think he ever met a stranger and I loved to watch him interact with other customers in line he always made them smile !! Mrs. Kelley you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers ❤️ We love you ?

  15. Sandra And Johnny Anderson
    December 23, 2016 8:20 am

    So sorry for your loss. Mr. Kelly was a teacher of mine in high school . He came by our home many times over the years to talk about cattle and hay. We will miss him.

  16. Shirley & Evelyn Jones
    December 23, 2016 8:29 am

    He has meant so much to the Fairview Community since coming here to Coach at Wes (Fairview High) Schoo. He was my Coach in high school and taught us to be fair, play hard and win the game. NEVER heard him speak evil of anyone.
    Janice and the children have a lot of memories to cherish. Let us not forget them in the days ahead.
    In Christian Love
    Shirley & Evelyn Jones

  17. Lorri (Furlow) Lewis
    December 23, 2016 9:33 am

    So sorry for your loss. Mr. Kelley was one of the kindest, most respected people I have ever met. He was my principal when I was in elementary school and my teacher and mentor when I was in high school. He and my dad spent many nights ‘coon hunting and I was lucky enough to know him outside of the school setting. His favorite subjects were always his beloved family and community. Every time I had a chance meeting with him, even 30 years later, he always remembered who I was and where I sat in his class. He was definitely a one-of-a-kind gentle soul and will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  18. The Reed Jones Family
    December 23, 2016 11:35 am

    Janice and all the dear family, So sorry for your loss of Mr. Kelley. “ya’ll” are in our thoughts and prayers. We all go along way back and have lots of fond memories. Our children in school, sports, county business and so much more.
    Much love
    The Reed Jones Family

  19. Margaret Ann & Robert ivey
    December 23, 2016 12:04 pm

    Prayers for peace and comfort during this sad time. Coach Kelly was a true gentleman. He will be missed.

  20. Renee Richards
    December 23, 2016 1:48 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I’ve always thought of your dad and and family as such a warm, down to earth ,and just all around “good folks”. My heart and prayers are with you all,

  21. Gordon Lampley
    December 23, 2016 3:35 pm

    Wilburn Kelley, ” Good Buddy”, loved his family, life and friends and always cherished his tough up bringing and always spoke with love and affection for his grandparents. Over the past several years we would have in depth conversations about his love for the Fairview community and his desires for a better place to live and educate the younger generations. A man of vision, beliefs, compassion with a genuine love for all people.

    Janice and family my constant thoughts and prayers to you as you travel this tough road but always know if you need an ear to listen or just to simply share in the grieving moments that I will be there.

  22. David and Pam Best
    December 23, 2016 4:43 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. We are out of town otherwise we would be there. He was such a sweet kind soul and know that you all will miss her terribly. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers. We love you!

  23. Barbara varden bachman
    December 23, 2016 9:03 pm

    A warm kind man.my principal in grade school. Prayers to his family

  24. Gwen Givens Martin
    December 24, 2016 7:36 pm

    To a man who truly loved and believed in man kind. It is a good man that will truly be missed. The family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. Nancy Givens
    December 25, 2016 9:39 am

    Coach Kelley was a part of our lives since 1958. He has always been there for my family. He was a large part in our lives at school and a great teacher and well respected in the Fairview community. He will be missed by all.

  26. Rosalie Mealer
    December 25, 2016 11:40 am

    So sorry Janice.my thoughts are with you and your family.

  27. Charles Allen
    December 25, 2016 4:18 pm

    Mr.Kelly , you were a good man!

  28. Jimmy Stem
    December 26, 2016 9:36 am

    I was a student of Mr Kelly at College Grove High School in the late ’50’s. I’ve always appreciated his caring attitude, his willingness to help students. I am a better person because I knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with him family.

  29. Jerry Brannon
    December 26, 2016 10:25 am

    Janice, as you well know I always had the utmost respect for Wilburn. He was good man and always so kind and helpful to so many people. I remember the good times we had as young people in the 1960’s. Vivian always thought the world of you.

  30. Annie Mai Malugin Lindsey
    December 26, 2016 1:16 pm

    To Janice and Children,

    So sorry to learn about Wilburn. Thanks to Lloyd Shouse for posting the sad news, which I just learned. Am unable to give my sympathy to you in person due to health issue at this time, but know that my thoughts and prayers are for you and yours. Will always remember his smile and joyful countenance. Enjoyed the video. Brought back a lot of memories of when we were younger in Santa Fe. Hope to see you in person before too long. My sympathies to your children and grandchildren. Sincerely, Annie Mai

  31. Rhonda billings
    December 26, 2016 7:41 pm

    He was great man .

  32. Nancy Simpkins
    December 27, 2016 12:50 pm

    Dana and family,

    Sorry to hear about your father. Every time I saw him, he had a cheery smile on his face. I know he never met a stranger. My father-in-law, I C Simpkins, knew your father well and had much respect for him. My prayers and sympathy to you and your family. He is at peace and in good hands. Love to you all,
    Nancy Simpkins

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