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Jack Kelley joining 11 Manteca Hall of Fame
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• WHAT: Manteca Hall of Fame dinner & induction
• WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 6 p.m. cocktails, 7 p.m. dinner
• WHERE: Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane
• TICKETS: $40
• MORE INFO: Contact the Boys & Girls Club at 239-KIDS

Jack Kelley – a man who devoted his life to helping youth have a better chance in life – is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.

The dinner and induction ceremonies for the Hall of Fame takes place Saturday, May 14, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Tickets are $40 apiece and available at the Manteca Boys & Girls Club, 545 Alameda St., or by calling 239-KIDS.

Other members of the Class of 2011 are William A. Jones, education; Donald Widmer, athletics; Jessie Marinas, art; Don I. Asher, government; Margo Young, health care; Norman Knodt, business; Kathryn Aartman-Weed, community service; and Leo Omlin, agriculture.

Kelley is being inducted at large.

Kelley moved to Manteca in 1966 with his late wife Trena who went on to become the first woman elected to the Manteca City Council and the first directly elected mayor. Trena was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Jack Kelley served for 22 years on the Manteca Unified School District board.

He went to work for the California Youth Authority as a young man. He was hired as a group supervisor at Fricot Ranch for Boys in Calaveras County. This was a unique school designed to promote the ethical and moral standards of Boy Scouts of America with the wards placed there - troubled youth from ages 8 to 18. He was eventually promoted to head group supervisor for the entire school.

Kelley was then transferred to the Northern California Youth Authority in Stockton and was promoted to treatment team supervisor for two schools within the complex. One of his accomplishments was the creation and implementation of the Foster Grandparents program in the two units he supervised.

His career in the youth authority spanned 35 years. After retiring in 1981, he helped found and lead a monthly club for ex-CYA employees that now has 40 members.

Kelley, 88, is a past docent and charter member of the Manteca Historical Society and is active at the Manteca Senior Center.

He left high school at age 16 to join the United States Army and served from 1940 to 1945. He was a member of the 63rd Coast Battalion and was part of the 301st Barrage Battalion that guarded the Panama Canal. He was promoted and transferred to the air corps cadet training but due to the demands of war, the program ended and Kelley was transferred to the Marine Corps as a machine gunner with the 606th division. He was then sent to The Philippine Islands where he was the sergeant-in-charge of guarding the medical-surgical units from suicide squads trying to kill hospital personnel.

Kelley has been an avid motorcycle rider his entire life and loved to build and fly model gasoline airplanes. He is well known among family and friends as a tinkerer who likes to fix things.

He was married 62 years to Trena. They have four children: Miles, Kalleen, Lori, and Katie.

Kelley is a long-time member of the Sequoia Heights Baptist Church. He was also a charter member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Manteca.