Robert Kelley, born in Schley county, Georgia in 1919, is a man that many family members would say is like a father figure to most.
“A godly man, a strong man, and just a great example of what one looks like,” Wilson said.
Kelley has seven children. He’s worked many jobs to provide for not just his own, but for his nieces and nephews who lived in the neighborhood as well. He says his main priority is his family and making sure that no one gets left behind.
“Me and another guy, we started working at the Ledger Enquirer. We was the only two black guys working at the Ledger Enquirer at that time and that’s when I was working at night. See, I was working at night because I was working at Fort Benning at the day time,” Kelley said.
Kelley held many jobs serving people not only here in Columbus but the United States. He served in World War Two, was very active with the Boy Scouts organization and also worked for the Muscogee county school district. Kelley’s nephew, Monroe Kelley says he taught him discipline and helped set the example for the man he wanted to become.
“Those folks knew how to survive that’s what I’m mostly inspired by and to this day. They knew how to survive. No way in the heck can I have seven kids in a house just me as a supporter. I don’t know if I could do that. ‘Not now a days,’ I couldn’t live with them. But the thing about is they did,” Kelley said.
Kelley says that his uncle took care of all of the children growing up on what they call “Kelley Hill.” Kelley says that through life he has learned to find peace in the Lord and to let everything else fall into place.
Kelley’s birthday is August 14th.