Dr. James F. Kelty, D.V.M., of Clarksville, Texas, passed peacefully from this earth, on July 9, 2021. Jimmy, known as “Little Doc” was born on October 30, 1923, in Clarksville, Texas, to Winifred Pearl and Dennis F. Kelty. He attended Clarksville schools, graduating in 1941. Jimmy was one of four children. He had two older sisters, Harriet Cleo, Elma Louise, and a younger brother, Dr. Cecil Kelty, also a veterinarian. All preceded him in death.
He attended Texas A&M College in 1941, taking a hiatus from veterinary school to join the Army at the age of 19. He served in World War ll in the Calvary Medical Corps. He was a surgical technician in the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign in Luzon. Decorations and citations received were: Overseas service Bar Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon- 2 Bronze stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with Bronze star, and Good Conduct Metal Victory Ribbon. Jimmy treated the injured soldiers and animals while fighting side by side in combat with fellow comrades.
After completing his degree in Veterinary medicine, he returned to Clarksville, going into practice with his father, “Old Doc” Kelty. Jimmy married Hazel Jo Parks in 1949. They reared four children, Kathy, Ann, Tim and Janet. He always found time for Girl Scouts, ball games, recitals and other activities his children participated in. Jimmy made many, many house calls, with coffee cups rattling on the dash, held rabies clinics, worked at the sale barn on Wednesday nights and worked at the office with his Dad. He loved large and small animals alike, but his love was for small animals. Many a night he brought home dogs and cats that he had operated on or that had been poisoned, to make sure they made it through the night. In fact, a poisoned dog rode to College Station with Doc, Hazel and younger daughter Janet, to make sure it made it. One might remember the story of Sputnik, Harry Whitehouse’s dog and Clearance the Cat. Animals and kids alike gravitated to Jimmy. Jimmy retired from practice in 1988. There are many tales to be told and wonderful memories throughout the community. Jimmy not only touched the lives of the animals he treated but he also touched the lives of their owners and families. Jimmy has been retired for 33 years and people still come up to his family and say, “Let us tell you this story about “Little Doc”, or your dad.
After retirement, Jimmy and Hazel moved to their cabin at North Lake Country Club, which Jimmy and Walter Martin built. Some of Jimmy’s and Hazel’s best times were on the golf course with friends Bobby Williams, Charles Bossier, Clarence Hearne, Murray Giles. He also like to build, spending much time going back and forth and visiting with his college roommate, Billy Sam Allen, as he continued to “add on’, “tear out” and “renovate” his three downtown properties along with his residence. It was not unusual to get a call from a concerned citizen that Jimmy was once again on a ladder at the age of 94. Fortunately, we had good men there to help him with his doctoring and projects. Jerry Ricks, Thomas Rosser, and John Keele never failed to assist.
Jimmy was a member of Clarksville Kiwanis Club for over 20 years, cooking pancakes, producing skits and damming up Delaware Creek for a spaghetti supper with gondola rides. This is when he became a director, with the assistance of Trent Dehoney, directing and producing movies for the Kiwanis club. The most impressive work of art was the full-length movie, Home from the Hills, Clarksville style, which he produced and directed with Trent Dehoney. Every Halloween, the Kiwanis Club presented a new skit in the auditorium at the old Clarksville High school for the public. It was the highlight of the festivities. Olen Douglas is now the only remaining member of that “Historic Kiwanis Club”. It would take all night to relive all the wonderful memories.
Hazel and Jimmy were both active members of the Clarksville PRIDE Association. It has often been said that PRIDE was the catalyst for the economic development and beautification of the downtown square and commercial district. One of his favorite PRIDE projects was the Historic Creek Walk, with the placement of the Historic TP Lake Bridge across Delaware Creek, engineered by Jimmy Kelty and Jim Power. Both Jimmy and Hazel were named Paul Harris Fellows by Rotary and received the Chamber of Commerce Pioneer Business Award. Jimmy was a member of Knights of Columbus and longtime member of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Clarksville.
Jimmy loved his family and friends. He was lovingly called Jimbo, Keebler, and Little Doc. He had a love of God, family, community, history and architecture. Not only was he an avid reader, he loved to plan, draw and write, and always had a project going. He had been working on a novel for years, but it will never be in print as it is in “his” doctor’s handwriting!!! What a wonderful legacy he left for his family and friends.
Legacy of Dr. James F. Kelty, D.V.M.” - A man of character and faith. His story was not just about himself but rather how he interacted with others through his good works.
Survivors include: daughters, Kathy Barber of Clarksville, Ann Rushing and husband Byron, of Clarksville, and Janet Green and husband, Keith, of Paris, Texas; son, Tim Kelty, of Clarksville. Grandchildren: Loren Barber, Lane Barber, Samuel Andrews, James Andrews, Emily Condiff, David Rushing, Amy Anderson, Sara Norris, Kate Chadwick, Ellen Green, Brent Kelty, John Kelty, Laura Kelty Brown; great -grandchildren; Landan Barber, Ava Barber, Summer Andrews, Alee Andrews, Kelon Andrews, Erica Haggard, Carter Norris, Mason Norris, Henry Norris, Jack Norris and Vivian Norris, Huck Condiff, Addie Condiff, Wyatt Chadwick, Will Chadwick, Dakota Rushing, and Jordan Rushing, Lincoln Kelty, Sloan Marks and Blade Brown. Great-great grandchildren: Holden and Harper Haggard.
A special thank you to On Call, Home Health & Rehab, Hospice & Elder Care, Pepper Andrews, whom he loved, and staff, Dr. B .C. Muthappa , Susan George, and staff, and care takers: Donna Barton, Elizabeth Chambers, Willie Spencer, Sue Rose, and Rebis Young. Nursing homes: Focus Care, CNC and Pine Tree, Jim Clark, Heather Palmer, Marion and Suzanne Lowe, Cathy Marable, Vicki Perkins, Sherry Robertson, The Patriot Guard, Clarksville Fire Department, Clarksville Police Department, Dr. Mark Glanzer and Clarksville Funeral Home. The family is so very appreciative of the excellent care that Doc received.
A Rosary will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday night, July 12, 2021, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church with family visitation following at 6:00 p.m.
Funeral Mass will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Gavin Vaverek officiating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Clarksville Funeral Home.
The family would like to thank you for the cards, calls, texts, emails, visits, prayers and thoughts during this time of their loss. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the PRIDE Association, PO Box 402, Clarksville, Texas or St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery Fund, 406 East Broadway Street, Clarksville, Texas, 75426.
Memories and condolences may be added at www.clarksvillefuneralhome.com .
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