Gaylon Kelly

Gaylon Kelly

Gaylon Lee Kelly, 66, of Sturgis, SD, and formally of Gering, Neb., died peacefully Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Monument Health Rapid City, S.D., surrounded by family.

Gaylon Kelly was born in Gordon, Neb., on May 19, 1957, to Patrick and Shirley (Rising) Kelly. Gaylon moved to Minatare, Neb., as a teenager, so his dad could run a pig farm. Gaylon attended High School in Minatare, Neb., in 1975 he lettered in wrestling, and particularly liked shop class. After high school he worked at Herbert Milling delivering feed to farms. In 1980, he married Joyce Smith, and in 1981 he worked at Waterflo welding as part owner and also worked at Midwest farms until becoming a head driller at Sargent Irrigation at 21 years old. He stayed at Sargent Irrigation as a service manager until opening Kelly-Deines Irrigation in 2001.

In 2012, he sold his Irrigation Business and retired early and moved to Sturgis where he built his dream log cabin home in the Black Hills of S.D. 

Gaylon loved ATVing, camping, golfing, and most of all his daughters and seven grandkids. He taught them many things like catching snakes, fishing, driving, shooting guns, and feeding them an abundance of snacks.

In 2017, he had a stroke that left him paralyzed requiring 24/7 care. His daughters kept him at his cabin in Sturgis until January 2021, where his health continued to decline requiring more care. 

He will be remembered most of all for being the patriarch of the family, his willingness to help others, his kind heart, his positive attitude, his fun sense of humor, how he was able to remember a joke, and hard work ethic.

Gaylon is survived by his two daughters: Holly (Dustin) Lockman of Rapid City, S.D., and Heather (Jeremy) Stengel of Lincoln, Neb., their mom, Joyce Kelly (Gering, Neb.); seven grandchildren: Breyden Heil (Brynn Johnson), Tristen Lockman, Tenley Lockman, Ace Johnson, Charleigh Stengel, Paxten Stengel, and Casten Stengel; siblings: Scott (Robyn) Kelly of Omaha, Neb., Sherry (Joe) Gamet of Colorado Springs, Colo., Brenda Kelly of Cleveland, Okla.; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

He is preceded in death by, his parents, mom, Shirley, dad, Patrick (Gloria), brothers, Bill, Bud, and Perry Kelly, nephews, Chancey Gamet, James Kelly, and Mark Kelly, niece, Lacey Gamet, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Memorial services will be 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 3, 2023, at Sturgis United Methodist Church in Sturgis, SD. Burial to follow in Crawford, NE.

Condolences may be sent to the family at 

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