September 28, 2023
We are sad to announce the passing of Gordon Kelley of Woodinville, Washington. He died at age 81, on August 21, 2023. Gordon passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. Born in Seattle, he grew up on Magnolia and graduated from Queen Anne High School. He raised his children in Bellevue and eventually moved to Woodinville, where he lived until his death.
Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, Max and Peggy Kelley, his brother, Don, and sister, Janie Kelley-Choate.
Gordon was first and foremost a family man. A devoted husband and father, he led by example teaching his children the value of hard work, strength of character, and the importance of family ties.
An entrepreneur at heart, Gordon owned his first business, Kelley Chevron, in his early 20's. After ten successful years, he joined the family business and developed the new Kelley's Radio Paging, which later became Kelley's Radio Telephone. Always looking to the future, he was eager for the next challenge, which came in 1981. A pioneer of the cellular industry, Gordon and his business partners were responsible for establishing cellular communications in Washington and Oregon. Gordon retired in 1988 to devote his time to family.
Cars and racing were life-long passions. He owned his first car at 15 and was a founding member of the Nobles Car Club at Queen Anne High School. He later moved on to racing motorcycles and dragsters. Stock car racing was a family sport and Gordon eagerly supported his sons, Joe, Matt, and Bret in their racing endeavors. Working on the cars during the week and racing on the weekend with his boys was a dream come true. After some successes at Evergreen Speedway and on the Northwest Tour, they decided to retire from racing in 2000.
Gordon enjoyed the remainder of his retirement years keeping busy with family and his many friends, who knew him as 'Groda' or 'Flash'. He will be missed by us all.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Gordon's life at Chateau Lill in Redmond on Sunday, October 8th at 1:00 p.m. Please contact Peggy to RSVP.