John Whitefield Kelly
John Whitefield Kelly
  • July 28, 1936 - November 21, 2017
  • Metairie, Louisiana

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After a full life defined by energy, integrity, and an infectious laugh, John Whitfield Kelly III passed away on November 21, 2017. Born July 28th, 1936, John was the only child of Caroline Frances Thomas of Tupelo, Mississippi and John Whitfield Kelly Junior of Montgomery, Alabama. He never met a stranger.

He spent his young years in New Orleans and left for high school to attended Castle Heights Military Academy in Tennessee where he excelled as a student and diver, winning a place on the Junior Olympic diving team, which traveled to Costa Rica in 1953.

John attended Tulane University where he was a proud member of the Kappa Alpha order and met his wife, Flora McIver. After graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, he spent a brief stint in the US Army and on the oilrigs with Haliburton. He returned to Tulane for his MBA and pursued his passion for numbers, first at Hibernia Bank, then with an investment partnership that became part of the Boston Company, and finally as an equity salesman for Howard Weil. John’s passion for numbers also extended to his regular Friday appointments at the “oval office” in search of a racehorse that could beat the odds.

While he was dedicated to his career, he always managed to squeeze in time for fun. As a member of the New Orleans Country Club, and several social clubs, John had a gift for unifying people with great stories.

Throughout his career and active social life, John always put his family first. He is survived by the love of his life, Flora McIver Kelly and their four beautiful daughters, Carolyn, Nancy Guy, Katherine (Kakie), and Tarry. He brought tremendous joy and wisdom to his five grandchildren, traveling to Atlanta to visit Kelly, Jonathan, and Katherine York. Minnie Mae and Caroline August lit up his daily life in New Orleans and coined his nickname “Honey” – he was always known for his sweet tooth.

As a member of St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church, John was part of the Hard Hats, Finance, and nursery school committees. He and Flora loved bringing friends to the “Shell Beach Hilton”, their fishing camp, to catch red fish, trout, and enjoy sacred time on the water.

A celebration of John’s life will be held at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 2:30pm. Visitation will begin at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choosing or St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church.

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