December 1, 2023

Raymond Elbert Kelley, one among 5 youngsters, was born on Dec. 1, 1951, in Sedro-Woolley, a logging and mill city. His father, Cecil, was a mechanic in a mill. His mom, Wanda (Janicki) Kelley, was a homemaker who baked her personal bread and churned butter; her mother and father, Polish immigrants, had homesteaded the land Ray grew up on. The household raised beef and dairy cows.

Ray studied drafting in highschool and attended Western Washington College on a soccer scholarship. He studied artwork there however dropped out after two years and began designing buildings. When he confirmed his swirling sketches to a neighborhood builder, he later recalled, the person mentioned, “You higher get a hammer, boy, as a result of no one goes to construct these items for you.”

Along with Ms. Howard, Mr. Kelley is survived by a brother, Tim; a daughter, Kumara Kelley; three sons, Rafe Kelley, Kai Farrar and Eli Erpenbach; and 7 grandchildren. His marriage to Judy Farrar, in 1978, led to divorce.

Mr. Kelley lived by a number of credos, which included what he referred to as “barefootism” — he adamantly eschewed footwear, believing that being barefoot was a grounding habits that linked him to the earth’s power, irrespective of the climate.

Ms. Howard recalled shopping for him a pair of trainers one winter early of their relationship, and coming residence one blizzardy day to search out the boots by the door the place she had left them and a observe of footprints main away from the home and disappearing into the deep snow.

“Dessert first” was one other mantra. Mr. Kelley’s behavior was to eat dessert earlier than dinner, and he did so with terrific gusto — Mr. Tortorello of The Instances recalled him having fun with a hot-from-the oven apple crisp together with his naked fingers. “His line,” Ms. Howard defined, “was, ‘You by no means know when your bubble’s going to pop, so eat dessert first.’”

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