Kelly passed away peacefully on Nov. 22, 2021, at his home in Columbia Falls, Montana. He was surrounded by his family and his best friend on his final day. Just like he dealt with all life experiences, Kelly managed his illness with strength and grace and wanted to spend as much time with his loved ones as possible. Kelly was a loving husband, father, papa and friend to all.
Kelly was born on Aug. 3, 1956, to Robert Watson and Jean DeVall. He was born and raised in Whitefish, Montana. In high school, you could find Kelly cooking at Gordy’s Drive-In, which his family-owned and operated. Kelly would marry his high school sweetheart, Cheri, in 1974. He would then get hired on with Burlington Northern Railroad, where he worked as an engineer. Soon after he retired from the railroad, Kelly went on to own and operate several businesses in the valley. He owned and operated Kelly’s Pub and Casino, Mike’s Conoco and Buster’s Casino & Liquor Store and ran them until his passing.
Kelly was known for his love of Montana Grizzly Football, his collection of classic cars, spending his summers boating on Flathead Lake and especially his love for his family. Kelly made friends wherever he went and was loved by everyone. He lived life to its fullest and the impact he made on those around him will never be forgotten.
Kelly is survived by his wife, Cheri of 47 years, daughter Katrina (husband Dan), son KC, grandchildren Kyler and Bailey, brothers Gary (Linda), Mike (Karen), Henry (Lynn) and sister Tana, brother-in-law Scott (Tina), sister-in-law Carol (Robin) and many more nieces and nephews and all his lifelong friends.
Kelly is proceeded in death by his mom, Jean DeVall, dad, Robert Watson and stepdad Gordy DeVall.
On behalf of the family, they would like to thank his entire dedicated care team, both in Arizona and Montana. They are so grateful for the compassion and kindness during the last three years.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Wings Regional Cancer Support, Kalispell, Montana.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at St. Richards Catholic Church in Columbia Falls, Montana at 11 a.m. A reception immediately followed the service at The Back Room Restaurant in Columbia Falls.
Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for Kelly’s family.