January 28, 1946-November 29, 2023
Thomas Lawson Kelly Jr. died at his home in Ouray, Colorado on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. He was born January 28, 1946 to Thomas L. and Gertrude Elizabeth Mattes Kelly in Denver, CO.
Tom attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He received a B.A. in 1968, then earned his Juris Doctorate from SMU’s Dedman School of Law in 1971. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas that same year.
He married Carolyn Kay Vestal in Dallas, Texas on June 15, 1968. They were married 55 years when she passed away earlier this year.
Tom had a successful and accomplished career in the legal profession. Not only did he rise to partner with the Cantey Hanger Law Firm in Dallas, he practiced in several complex legal specialties. He was admitted to practice and argued cases in front of numerous regional U.S. District Courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. He retired with his wife to Ouray, Colorado in 2006.
Tom enjoyed his career, but his true passion was the love of his life, Carolyn, his friends, sporting activities, and serving his community.
When in Dallas, he was an avid hunter who had great pride in the long line of Chesapeake Bay retrievers who were his steadfast companions. He was known every year to host an epic gathering in his front yard to watch the Lakewood July 4th parade. He was a constant for many years being involved with numerous community service and fraternal organizations.
In Ouray, Tom enjoyed off-roading, and exploring the communities in and around the Western Slope. He was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ouray where he served in several service and leadership lay positions.
He is predeceased by his parents, his sister, Connie Kelly, and wife, Carolyn Vestal Kelly. He is survived by his sister, Judy Janas of Scranton, PA, nephew Michael Janas of Grayling, MI, his brother-in-law, Charlie Bahr, of Gainesville, Texas, nephews Chuck Bahr (Dawn) of Holly Lake Ranch, TX and Erik Bahr (Jackie) of Dallas, TX and their children.
The family wishes to thank the Ouray community for the care and support shown to Tom and Carolyn, who in turn, loved and cherished their community.
A private service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, feel free to make a contribution to the Ouray Library District or to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ouray, CO.
Crippin Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.