Bill was born on May 20, 1918, on a houseboat at Lake Union, in Seattle, Wash., to Leroy and Miriam (Lewis) Kelly. His fast passing with cancer was on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Horizon Hospice House in Billings. Bill was a few days from turning 95.
His boyhood years were in Los Angeles, Calif. During the 1930’s depression, he helped the family livelihood by delivering morning and night newspapers to homes. In 1935 he earned Eagle Scout award, with the Bronze merit badge. Bill graduated from Los Angeles Jr. College in 1941. He earned a pilot’s license in a Civilian Pilot Program and competed in air acrobatics. The next stage of his life was to help the World War II war effort as an Air Traffic Controller in Anchorage, Alaska; Boise, Idaho; and Great Falls, Mont. It was in Great Falls that he met and married his bride of 57 years, Alice Curry. From that union came three daughters, Sherrie, Nancy and Carol.
In 1952 he started Bill Kelly Realty in Great Falls. Years later, he established Cascade Land Corp and annexed 650 home sites in southeast Great Falls. Bill continued to contribute to land development with hillside home sites within the beautiful Bel View Palisades subdivision. He was Director and Manager of the Fidelity Savings and Loan from 1962-1979.
In retirement, Bill and Alice traveled many winters to Palm Desert, Calif. Bill devoted several years to the loving care of his wife Alice, who passed away May 4, 2002. He lived in Great Falls until 2007, and then moved to Sidney, Mont., to be near his daughter Nancy and her family.
Bill was a member of the Rotary, Elks and the Sons of the Pioneers. His hobbies were aviation, traveling, golfing and cruising the web. Bill especially liked to email his friends and relatives. He wanted to be remembered as an “ordinary husband, father and granddad, who enjoyed doing the extraordinary!”
He is survived by daughters Sherrie Morris of Clovis, Calif., Nancy (Larry) Simonsen of Sidney, Mont., and Carol (Ed) Reiser of Genoa, Ill.; grandchildren Christie Mora of Clovis, Calif., Ryan Morris of San Diego, Calif., Brendan Morris of Santa Barbara, Calif., Troy Simonsen of Fargo, N.D., Ted (Nicole) Simonsen of Sidney, Kelly (Brandon) Alsup of Chicago, Ill., Amy Reiser of Chicago, Ill.; great-grandchildren Diego Mora, Josie Simonsen, Ally Simonsen, Jorgen Simonsen and Jack Alsup; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. Services will be held at a later date.
Donations may be made in Bill’s name to St. Vincent De Paul Society, 426 Central Ave. W., Great Falls, MT 59404 or RiverStone Health Hospice, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.cfgbillings.com through “Our Families.”