Buford “Claude” Kelly, of Perry, passed away on Saturday, March 10. Claude was born on March 7, 1942, to Buford and Dorothy Louise Kelly, in Quincy.
Claude grew up in Woodville and graduated from Leon County High School. While in school, he earned the title of an Eagle Scout. He held a steady job from a very young age. After Claude finished school, he worked in the US Postal Service for the next 32 years. During his time with the Postal Service, he also operated a farm, growing broiler chickens and row crops. Claude was the Postmaster in Perry for the last 17 years of his career and received Postmaster of the Year on several occasions.
Claude was ordained as a minister in 1976 and took many mission trips. He also helped build a church in Tallahassee. Later, Claude had many hobbies that he took great pride in. He enjoyed watching and playing baseball. As a young man, Claude played for the Tri-State minor league baseball team and played church league softball, in Perry. After retirement, he became a commercial fisherman where he earned the title of a Merchant Marine Master Captain. He enjoyed success with fox hunting competitions and enjoyed gardening – especially tomatoes. Claude loved to cook and was known by many for his skills in smoking just about anything. Claude enjoyed serving his children and grandchildren and shared his beloved hobbies with all of his family, including taking them on many excursions on the water.
Claude was preceded in death by both of his parents; and sister, Sally.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Mildred Worley Kelly; four sons: Ritchie (Tracey), Claude Jr., Scott (Julie), and Jason (Sheri); one step-son, Joe (Kathy); two step-daughters: Georgia (Blake) and Becky (Matt); 12 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and one brother, Floyd Lamar Kelly.
Funeral services for Claude were held on Tuesday, March 13, at 11 a.m., in the Burns Memorial Chapel, in Perry. Interment followed at Walker Cemetery, in Madison County. The family received friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, March 12. All arrangements were under the care of Burns Funeral Home.