Cover photo for Richard "Rick" Kelly's Obituary
Richard "Rick" Kelly Profile Photo
1969 Richard 2019

Richard "Rick" Kelly

February 11, 1969 — September 11, 2019

Richard John Kelly, age 50, of Sioux City passed away at his home on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.

Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 14, 2019, at Morningside Chapel Christy-Smith Funeral Home. Visitation will be held 4:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, September 13, 2019, at Morningside Chapel Christy-Smith Funeral Homes with the family present from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Military Funeral Rites Graveside Services will be provided by the 185th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard at Memorial Park Cemetery following funeral services.

Richard “Rick” Kelly was born February 11, 1969, in Sioux City, the son of Michael and Janet (Blades) Kelly. He grew up in Sioux City and graduated from East High School. Rick then earned his Bachelor’s Degree from University of Nebraska at Omaha. Following graduation Rick returned to Sioux City where he began working at Gateway.

Senior Master Richard Kelly enlisted on October 25, 1989 in the Iowa Air National Guard as an Electronic Warfare System Specialist. During his military career, he was an Avionic Systems Journeyman, Personnel Journeyman, and finished his career as a Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of Crew Comm. He was an expert in the Air National Guard Crew Comm. career fields. During his military career he deployed to numerous locations to include Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany and Anderson Air Force Base, Guam.He served in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, Freedom Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.

SMsgt. Kelly was awarded numerous medals and ribbons to include the Meritorious Service Medal (1 oak leaf cluster), Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal (3 oak leaf clusters), Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal (9 oak leaf clusters), Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. Rick was a valued mentor, wingman, and friend. He will be dearly missed by all who served with him. Rick’s son, Specialist Zach Kelly joined the Army in 2016 and is currently deployed to Afghanistan on active duty serving with the 82nd Air Borne Division. On September 11, 2019 Senior Master Sergeant Kelly was posthumously awarded rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

Rick was a member of the Civil Air Patrol, he also had his private pilot license. He was always helpful, a jack of all trades and master of everything.

Survivors include his parents, Michael and Janet Kelly; sons, Zachary Kelly and Nicholas Kelly; siblings, Brian and Beth Kelly, Julie and Randy Sampers; nieces and nephews, Abbie and Emily Kelly, Brianna and Roger Mattison, Ben and Jazmin Stange, Brady and Katie Stange, Hannah (Austin) Sampers, Logan Sampers, Levi Sampers; great nieces and nephews, Alexandria and Victoria Mattison, Hunter Stange, and Caden Stange.

Rick is preceded in death by his grandparents, Richard and Jenny Blades, B.J. and Mary Kelly; aunt and uncle, Nub and Louise Piper; uncle and aunt, Gene and Dorothy Kelly; uncle, Don Kelly; and uncle, Duane Lausen.

Memorials may be made to the Wounded Airman Program – Air Force Association in memory of Rick Kelly.

The family wishes to give a special thank you to the care provided by Hospice of Siouxland, specifically to Dani, Jon, and Bethany.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard "Rick" Kelly, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 13, 2019

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Christy-Smith Funeral Homes - Morningside Chapel

1801 Morningside Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Christy-Smith Funeral Homes - Morningside Chapel

1801 Morningside Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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