James M. "Jim" Kelley, 69, of Lincoln, Neb., died Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, at The Monarch Inpatient Hospice Facility in Lincoln, after being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer on June 11, 2010.
Jim was born March 7, 1941, in Le Mars, the son of the Honorable James and Helen Kelley. He graduated from Gehlen High School in 1959.
He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a bachelor of science degree in zoology. He was in the Honors Program and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the Law Center at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1968.
During his law career, Jim was employed with the U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Passport Office, Chicago, Ill.; Keller & Heckman, Washington, D.C.; Chapman, DiSally & Friedman, Washington, D.C.; Assistant Attorney General, Minnesota and was in private practice in Lincoln, Neb., from 1971 to the present.
His bar admissions include: Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit: 1970; U.S. Supreme Court Admission: 1973; State Bars of Minnesota (1968) and Nebraska (1971); Federal District Courts: Minnesota (1969); Nebraska (1971) and South Dakota (1976).
He was a member of the American Bar Association; Nebraska Bar Association; Minnesota Bar Association; National Association of Trial Attorneys; Nebraska; Association of Trial Attorneys; Commercial Law League of America; and American Trial Lawyers Association.
Through the years, Jim served on a number of boards of directors, including Lincoln General Hospital (Now Bryan LGH West); Independence Center; Lincoln Community Playhouse; Lincoln Community Playhouse Foundation, Inc; Friends of the Opera; Friends of Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, Inc; Friends of Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center Foundation, Inc; TADA Productions and Abendmusik Lincoln.
He was also involved in civic activities in the City of Lincoln and related areas, including Goals and Policies Committee; Subcommittee to study year round schooling; City of Lincoln Cable TV Advisory Board; and City of Lincoln Procurement Appeals Board.
His Bar Associations Committee included Publications Committee; Publicity Committee and Awards and Recognitions Committee.
Jim was involved with musical and dramatic productions with the Lincoln Community Playhouse; Lincoln Light Opera Company; Third Chair Chamber Players; Abendmusik Lincoln; Lincoln Civic Chorus; UNL Oratorio Chorus; TADA Productions and University of Nebraska Lincoln; and Zodiac Club.
He was an Eagle Scout and was also a member of the American Heart Association; National and Nebraska Multiple Sclerosis Society, Baker Street Irregulars, Mensa, University of Iowa and Georgetown University Alumni Associations.
He was a talk show host KZUM - FM 89.3 and KLIN A.M.
His interests included traveling, reading, sports and theatre.
Jim was the 93rd recipient of a heart transplant organ in 1997 at BryanLGH Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb., performed by Dr. Edward Raines. He was the first person to have a heart transplant in Lincoln, Neb., after the use of a Heart Mate, a device that pumps one of the heart's two main pumping chambers, or ventricles. It was used for temporary support while the prospective recipient waited for a new heart. He returned to a "full life" for 13 years following this procedure.
Jim is survived by his wife, Carol J. "Cec" Kelley of Lincoln, Neb.; siblings (spouses), Nora Kelley (Fred Hegeman) of Rapid City, S.D.; Mary Kelley of Dubuque; Michael (Dorothy) Kelley of Des Moines; Ann (ViJay Pillai) of Arlington, Texas; and Patrick (Halina) Kelley of Oakland, Calif.; brothers-in-law/sisters-in-law, Tim Sercl of Lincoln, Neb., Dave (JoAnne) Sercl of Phoenix, Ariz., and Sharon (Perry) Wood of Phoenix, Ariz; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; Hon James and Helen Kelley; a brother, John Kelley; a brother-in-law, Michael Brown of Dubuque; and first wife, Jeanne Thorough.
Mass of Christian burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 at The Cathedral of The Risen Christ, 3500 Sheridan Blvd., Lincoln, with the Rev. Steve Thomlison officiating. A rosary service was held Friday, Aug. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral. Visitation was held at Butherus, Maser and Love Funeral Home, 4040 "A" St., Lincoln, Neb.
Jim's family requested no flowers.
Memorials are suggested to: Abendmusik Lincoln, BryanLGH Foundation, Pink Sisters or Lincoln Community Playhouse.
Condolences may be left at www.bmlfh.com