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Richard E. Kelly

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Richard E. Kelly
Richard E. Kelly was born in 1943 and spent most of his childhood in Los Angeles, California. When he was four years of age, his parents became Jehovah’s Witnesses (the Club), and firm believers that the end of the world would occur before Dickie reached the age of twenty.
To ensure his survival at Armageddon, Dickie had to attend five one-hour meetings a week at a Kingdom Hall and travel to three conventions a year. He was also required to spend at least twelve hours a month in the door-to-door work selling the Watchtower and other Club literature.
Dickie wasn’t allowed to participate in Little League or high school sports. And he was not permitted to attend college.
In 1958, in response to a special calling from the Club “to serve where the need was great,” his family moved to a small town in eastern Nebraska.
After graduating from high school, Dick became a “pioneer”, spending 100 hours a month in the door-to-door work for over a year. In 1962 he volunteered to live and work at Bethel, the Club’s headquarters, in Brooklyn, New York. After two years, he turned in his resignation from Bethel and ended his association with the Club.
Dick was married in 1964 and he and his wife, Helen, lived in New York City for a year. They moved to western Michigan in 1965, where they raised a son and daughter.
Dick has an accounting degree and worked thirty-three years for Clipper Belt Lacer Company, a Grand Rapids manufacturer. He served as treasurer for ten years and president for seventeen years. He retired in 1997.
In 1998 Dick’s youngest sister, Mary Lyn, was brutally stabbed to death. Dick’s mama was given power of attorney for her remains, and since Mary Lyn had left the Club three years before, no memorial service was held. As far as Mama and other Club members were concerned, because she wasn’t one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mary Lyn was dead and forgotten.
Dick brooded for several months before deciding to write his story about growing up in Mama’s Club, knowing the damage that is done when children, particularly his sister, are forced to adhere to religious ideology they were not intellectually or emotionally able to comprehend.
In 2007 he published the first and a second edition of, "Growing Up In Mama’s Club." In March 2008, he published a revised and expanded third edition of "Mama's Club" with thirty-eight additional pages of new stories, a glossary of Club jargon, a short history of Mama's Club, and the author's commitment to continuous improvement.
Today Richard and Helen Kelly are blessed with six granddaughters and live in active retirement in western Michigan and southern Arizona.

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