Illinois country father of the year.

Edward ‘Bob’ Kelley

Nominated by Kathryn Haudrich his daughter

Edward ‘Bob’ Kelley is from Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, Inc.

Dear Dad,

I am writing a letter to thank you for so many reasons. You have been my dad for almost 59 years. Wow! Who else have I know that long? No one really. You were there when I was born and every day since. I cannot imagine you not being there always.

But there were 28 years before I existed and a lot happened in that time to form the man you are today. You were someone’s child growing up on a farm not too far from Tipton. A lot of work was by hand; blood sweat and tears as they say.

And you were part of a family, one of five sons and the youngest boy sandwiched in between two sisters. You were part of a larger family too; someone’s cousin, nephew, grandson, uncle. You went to school and had friends. In those days you walked to a one room school house and learned reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. But it was a foundation that served you well down the road.

And friends, mostly cousins at first I’m sure growing up. But you are always adding to the ranks. You played ball as a young man traveling with other players during the summer months. How fun that must have been for you.

You had jobs throughout those years looking for employment off the farm however you could make a living. And then there was the army service. You went to war serving13 months in a foreign land away from home with guys you had never met before then. How hard that must have been for you. And then you are wounded and sent home with a purple heart. Those experiences shaped you too.

Everyone is so thankful for your service and think of you as a brave man. And you deserve that honor and you are a hero. But you have been my hero because you are my dad.

The person you are today is what I strive to be in my life. Your work ethic in providing for us as a family when we were children at home. Your civic mindedness and active participation in organizations like the K of C and VFW. Your sense of family first and efforts to attend functions both your own and extended family. Your generosity to the church both in time and treasure. And your undying faith in our Lord Jesus who has watched over and provided for you all these years.

Your friendliness with everyone you meet. You are ‘Uncle Bob’ to so many individuals. Always a smile on your face and if you can’t say anything nice, you don’t say anything at all. And your chuckle, it so reminds me of Grandma Kelley.

It is the person you are that is a role model for all of us to follow but especially to me. I am both humbled and proud to call you my dad.

I love you so very much with all my heart.

Your daughter,