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Walter W. Kelley, M.D., a resident of Downey for 60 years, died in his sleep December 10, 2011 at the age of 96. Born June 23, 1915 to Harry Severn Kelley and Anna Pearl Cooper Kelley in McCanna, North Dakota, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps after graduating from Fordville High School. There he was encouraged to pursue a medical career and went on to graduate from the University of North Dakota and receive his M.D. in 1944 from New York Medical College.
After a stint in the U.S. Army and a one-year residency in Hibbing, Minnesota, Dr. Kelley and his wife, Arlyss, moved to California in 1948 where he joined a practice in Huntington Park before opening his own practice as a physician and surgeon in Lynwood. His warm, competent and sure hands as well as his skill as a diagnostician helped him establish a large and successful practice. He was on the staff at Mission, Bell, St. Francis, and Downey Community (now DRMC) Hospitals. He served as chief of staff at St. Francis in 1969, nine years on the St. Francis executive board, and was chosen for their Doctor of the Year Award in 1979. He also served as president of the Southwest District of the Los Angeles Medical Association.
In addition to his medical career, he enjoyed golf, bridge, The New Yorker magazine, traveling, gardening, Shakespeare, classical music, serving as a member of the Downey Symphony Board, and telling a story or joke to fit any occasion.
He and Arlyss had been married 56 years when she died in 2000. He is survived by his sister, Opal Miller of Oregon, and his children, Katherine (Craig) Tyner of Albuquerque, Janet (Chris) Powell of Seattle, Maureen (Wayne) Burt of Mission Viejo, Kevin (Lisa) Kelley of Rio Rancho, NM, and Margaret (Waldemar) Otto of Worpswede, Germany. Other survivors include twelve grandchildren, Kelley, Ryan, Anne, Colleen, Amanda, Gabriel, Jameson, Jason, Hollis, Harlan, Sidney and Wyatt; five great- grandchildren, Eryn, Sophia, Olivia, Adele and Weston; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary (Norm) Wyman, and six siblings.
Services will be held December 29 at 1:00 p.m. at Rose Hills Hillside Chapel with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Doctors Without Borders (P.O. Box 5023 Hagerstown, MD 21741).
Published: December 15, 2011 – Volume 10 – Issue 35