Obituary: John Christian “Chris” Kelley

On January 31st, 2022, we lost our beloved husband, father, son, and mentor John Christian “Chris” Kelley. Chris left this fleeting world for an immortal rest rather unexpectedly after complications from surgery.

Chris was born February 28th, 1965 in Edmond, Oklahoma to Colin and Peggy Kelley, who both survive him. His mother taught him to memorize scripture and put a song in his heart; he loved to sing and play piano. His father taught him to fish and led the perfect example of how to be a good Christian man. Together they taught him to be a fisher of men.

Chris is survived by “his beautiful bride” Danielle “Dani” (Paxton) Kelley. They shared a deep and abiding love, and together enjoyed spending time with family, playing board games with friends, exploring our beautiful country and learning about its history, going on Sunday drives (any day of the week), and antiquing.

Chris is also survived by his daughters Kristin Zebrowski and her husband Tyler, Kaitlyn Kelley and her partner Chase Johnson, Lauren Glover and her husband David, and two grandchildren, Lydia and Roy. Chris adored his girls and was a very devoted father. He coached their sports teams, taught them Bible studies, and took them to get manicures and Jamba Juice. He would take them each on daddy-daughter dates, and together they would all go to Georgetown, Colorado for ice cream and train rides. While his grandbabies were the most cherished, he loved rocking and holding all babies.

Additionally, Chris is survived by his sister, Candace Counts, who loves the Oklahoma Sooners just as much as Chris, and had gifted much of the crimson and cream that Chris would usually be seen wearing.

Chris graduated from Liberty High school in Liberty Mounds, Oklahoma with the class of 1983, where he loved playing basketball, football, and running track. He served in the Army National Guard from 1984 to 1988, stationed in Ft Leonard Wood. His final stop in a long and storied career was as the General manager of Love’s Travel Stop in Abilene, Kansas. While there, he continued his life’s work to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves, and was a dedicated and loyal employee.

Services will be held on March 26th at 11:30 am at New Trail Fellowship, 1157 2499 Ave, Abilene, KS. Memorial contributions may be made to Neighbor to Neighbor Abilene, and sent in care of the Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home, 414 NW 3rd, Abilene, Kansas 67410. Condolences may be sent to the family at

We know that all things work together for the good of those that love God; those that are called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:28


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