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The Snoop

The Douglas County Herald, Ava and Douglas County lost a true friend last weekend with the death of Garnett Kelly. While his death was not unexpected, we are still saddened by the loss.
After serving his country in World War II, Garnett served as a juvenile officer in this area, then ran for and was elected Douglas County Assessor, a position he would hold for some 20 years. When he retired from the assessor’s job, Garnett was elected state representative, serving the Douglas and Wright county area for 14 years, representing districts 143 and 146, depending on how the state set the boundaries.
What I remember about Garnett, even as a very young child, is that even if he didn’t remember who I was – and I think he really did – he always made me think he knew me. When he didn’t remember my first name, he called me “Moore.” That’s because he knew my family. He stayed in close contact with my family and there was always a mutual respect. In later years, when I became involved with the Herald and he was state representative (and after leaving office) he stopped by the Herald Office frequently because he had high regard for Jim and Elmer Curry, and I’m proud to say I inherited some of that affection and friendship as a member of the Herald staff.
Over the years, the Herald developed a friendship and working relationship with the entire Kelly family. Garnett’s son, Van, would eventually be elected state representative of the same general area his dad had served, sons Reggie and Steve established auction businesses and allowed the Herald to do lots of work for them, and the family, including sons Ron and Don, opened an auction barn at Norwood and sent a fair share of work our way, which we always appreciated. About the same time, Reg also established Liberty Faith Church and Christian school, both of which have had a strong impact on this area.
For the past several years (I hesitate to say how many for the sake of getting it wrong) Van has been director of Camp JOY, a Bible camp at Vera Cruz, which was established by Oscar and Gladys Cunningham more than 60 years ago, so we still see Van more often than any of the rest.
Moving into the next generation (you can do that when you’re on Medicare), Garnett’s granddaughter, Hannah, was elected state representative of District 141 last year, and a bunch of the grandkids made up a band a few years ago, appropriately performing as the Kellys, which gained recognition throughout the Midwest.
I could even take my association with Garnett Kelly a step farther by pointing out that he and a longtime pastor friend of mine, the Rev. John Moles, married sisters. The story of Garnett and John as brothers-in-law opens up another chapter for the book I will never write.
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For the benefit of Henry, who asked, and others who may want to know, Grove City College is in Grove City, Pennsylvania, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. Grove City is a Christian liberal arts college with a current enrollment of around 2,500 students. Willie the Wolverine is the school mascot and the school colors are White and Crimson. There, now. I bet that’s more information than you wanted. I receive the school’s commentary, “Center for Vision & Values” regularly, and usually enjoy what they have to say. Last week The Snoop used one of their articles which they allow, free of charge, if we give them credit.
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Ninety percent of being married is just shouting “What?” from other rooms.