GR Home for Vets invites public to funeral of vet with no family

Posted at 5:39 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 17:40:16-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is asking for help giving a final salute to a World War II veteran.

They say he has no family who can attend his funeral and are hoping the public will come out to help celebrate his life.

James Kelly became a Navy man at 20, serving in WWII as a store keeper and supply.

He served more than two years before marrying his wife Nat. The two enjoyed 40 years of marriage before she died in the 1980s, leaving Kelly on his own.

He eventually landed at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans where he lived out his final days.

Now they are planning a funeral fit for a veteran. But, with no family to attend, his military family and the community are filling the gap.

"No member dies alone, no member is forgotten and because of that this is one way to expressing that to our members that you're not forgotten, not only within our home, without family here but within the larger community," says Chaplin Bruce Kalish.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans plans to honor Kelly Thursday, Aug. 29. If you'd like to attend, the visitation starts at 10 a.m. with the service at 10:45 a.m. Click here for more information and here for directions.