Bob Kelly Retires After 37 Years

Since Aug. 29, 1979, there has been both a calm and a heightened level of mischief on Graceland’s Lamoni campus. On that day, Bob Kelly launched a career with Graceland that would become a legacy, as he began his first day as a campus maintenance worker. Since that time, Bob has made his impact on countless Graceland projects and people through his work ethic and benevolence.

Bob Kelly Trucking - Horizons Winter 2017 issue
Bob Kelly Brick Laying - Horizons Winter 2017 issue
Bob Kelly Planting - Horizons Winter 2017 issue

Standing anywhere on the Lamoni campus today, it would be impossible not to experience the influence Bob has made
on the Graceland landscape. He has had his hand in every project from dredging Founder’s Lake – at least twice – to the 100-year anniversary renovation of the Higdon Administration building. He has been involved in pretty much every capital construction project since that day in 1979, even winning the “Extra Mile Award” in September 2005.

Bob’s Graceland experience, however, goes far beyond what is visible during a visit to “the Hill.” He has been a trusted colleague, a caring boss, a teacher and a friend. He has been so much to so many people. Derek Sutherland, who worked under Bob with Facility Services for several years said, “Bob was so much more than a boss. He was the best teacher I had while at Graceland, and I still count him as a friend.”

Bob retired last year after holding up the campus for 37 years, the last 28 as Campus Maintenance Supervisor. But he hasn’t gone far. After a weekend retirement, Bob began a new role as the Maintenance and Grounds Supervisor for Lamoni Community Schools, where he will no doubt have an impact on a whole new generation of kids. Maybe one day, a few of them will come to Graceland and carry on his legacy, creating an impact with a ton of hard work and just enough mischief.

Bob Kelly Cake - Horizons Winter 2017 issue

“Bob was so much more than a boss. He was the best teacher I had while at Graceland, and I still count him as a friend.”

-- Derek Sutherland