John S. "Jack" Kelley III

February 24, 1929 ~ August 28, 2020 (age 91)


                Legendary story teller, John S. “Jack” Kelley, III, passed away in the early morning hours of August 28, 2020. Jack’s vivacious laughter and love for fishing, golf and his family led him through his time on earth. 

                As a local practicing attorney for over 50 years, Jack’s greatest legal achievement was championing for the service of minorities on local jury panels, a legal victory that he loved to regale with all of those in earshot.  Jack was a proud alumnus of St. Joe Prep, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville Law School.  Jack served with satisfaction during in the United States Air Force.

                Jack’s love of history led him to purchase The Old Talbott Tavern in 1968, a business his family still loves running today in his honor.  Jack enjoyed sharing his knowledge of local history with any and all including his favorite Facebook group, “Growing Up in Bardstown, Kentucky.”

Jack served his community as a founding board member of the Stephen Foster Drama Association which he served on for 30 years.  He also served as president of the Bardstown Jaycees, a founding board member of the Bardstown Industrial Development Corporation, a board member for the Bank of New Haven and a board member of the local Red Cross.  Jack further served his community as a member of the American Legion Post 121 for 73 years, the Knights of Columbus for 63 years and the Optimist Club.  Jack was honored to receive many awards acknowledging his community service including the 1997 Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, St. Joe Prep Hall of Fame, the 2005 Tourism Pioneer Award and the 2016 Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement.

Jack was preceded in death by a son, William Louis “Bill” Kelley, his parents, Victor L. and Mary Louise Kelley, a brother, Victor L. Kelley, Jr. and a sister, Mary Louise Kelley.

This larger than life character, who was always consumed with his family’s well-being, is survived by his steadfast and caregiving wife, Lenore Lane Kelley; and three sons, John S. (Kathy) Kelley, Jr., Robert D. “Bob” Kelley, James P. “Jim” (Tina) Kelley; and one stepson, Trey Lane.  “Uncle Jack”, as he always said he was too young to be a grandfather, will always be remembered by his six loving grandchildren Nicole (David) Wheatley, Jack (Deanna) Kelley, Ellen (Chris) Bowling, Dailey (Lauren) Kelley, Michael (Rachel) Kelley and William Kelley and seven great-grandchildren with two more on the way.

Due to COVID-19, the funeral mass and visitation are private.  A celebration of life will follow at a later date.  Barlow Funeral Home, 2675 E. John Rowan Blvd, Bardstown, Kentucky 40004 is in charge of arrangements.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made to the Stephen Foster Drama Association, P.O. Box 546, Bardstown, Kentucky. 

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