Daniel Ray Kelly, 77, was surrounded by his entire family and friends in his last days and passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home in Dayton, Nev. on March 24, 2019.
Dan was a native-Nevadan, born in Hawthorne on Oct. 23,1941, where he spent most of his childhood. He graduated from Mineral County High School in 1959. He continued his education at Sul Ross State University in Texas and attended the University of Nevada, Reno for several years. Dan learned to fly at an early age while crop dusting and it was then that he realized his passion for flying. He continued to pursue this endeavor as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, as a corporate pilot, mail courier and flight instructor. Dan was also an avid photographer, and he started and managed a successful pet photography business.
Dan loved spending time in his well-organized garage and often enlisted the company and help of family members. It was here that he expressed his artistry and creativity in many ways throughout his life — either painting, designing and making turquoise jewelry, woodworking, inventing, building and/or repairing just about anything. Dan was known best for his original Christmas decorations and elaborate yard displays for which he received several community awards as well as the personal reward of bringing joy to so many people. Dan loved being outdoors in nature, and if he wasn’t in his garage creating, then one would most likely find him “out in the hills” of Nevada camping with his family.
Dan is survived by his wife, Diana; five children: Colleen and her husband Eric, Kathy, Curtis, Daniel, Gloria and her husband Ryan; seven grandchildren: Crystal, Craig, Kate-Lynn, Corey, Bailey, Skylar and Madden; four great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brother, Thomas Ledbetter and his wife Linda. Dan is preceded in death by his father Ralph Kelly, mother Betty Rae Snyder and sister Norma Lee Burgy.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 304 Driftwood Way in Dayton, Nev.