We are saddened to announce the passing of David Bruce Kelley in Sarnia, ON on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at the age of 87. David had been in hospice as a result of a fall and complications relating to hip surgery. He was 87 years of age.
As a former Citroën Autoclub Canada member, David (Dave) would come to meetings, outings and the Club’s annual Christmas party with his friend and fellow CAC member, the late Philippe Devingt. They were also regular attendees at the Meadow Brook Concours, held at the Dodge Estate in Rochester Hills, Mi.
One year, after Philippe displayed his 1966 DS21 Cabriolet at Meadow Brook Concours, David showed his Citroën pride and joy — a 1951 Traction Avant Big Six (RHD saloon) that Philippe helped him restore.
Dave and Philippe traveled near and far for Citroën events. In 2012 they attended the I.C.C.C.R. in Yorkshire, UK.
Dave had a an immense automotive reference library and models at this home in Sarnia and contributed numerous articles to classic car publications. He made jig-saw puzzles, some of then up to 8,000 pieces which he then framed. When he he didn’t have his nose into his books or doing puzzles at home, he could be found giving Philippe a hand finding and restoring Citroëns.
Back in 2002, Philippe heard of an ID Break on Fifty Road in the Niagara region of southern Ontario. The car had been sitting out for a considerable period of time and was overgrown with weeds. Intrigued or completely mad, Phil left his card at the door and awaited a phone call from the absent owner. After some considerable period of time Phil bought the car and he and Dave trailered it back to Sarnia to begin restoration and a co-ownership.
David worked for the City of Sarnia for 38 years retiring as Deputy City Clerk in 1993. He was the secretary of the Sarnia Police Services Board for many years and worked City and Federal elections. He was a member of the Antique and Classic Car Club of Canada (Chemical Valley Region), Bluewater British Car Club and past member of the Sarnia Horticultural Society.
Dave was the beloved husband of Bronwen Kelley for 63 years, loving father of Pam Kelley, Pat Kelley, Heather May and Jennifer Robb (Bill) and the cherished grandfather of Kelly Mortensen, David Mills, Ashley Mills, Justin Vail (Krista), Rebecca May (Rob), Amanda May and 3 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by daughter Mercedes Mills, parents Walter and Marjorie Kelley and his sister Sheila Kelley.
Dave and Bronwen were everyday regulars at Robin’s Donuts then Global Donuts where he enjoyed his morning coffee and toast, reading the morning paper and socializing with his coffee shop friends.
Aside from Citroëns, his books, models, puzzles and going to auto shows, Dave had many passions including taking several trips to France, making wine and going to the Barrie Flea Market every September. He spent summers painting houses with Owen. and was an avid gardener, growing his flowers and vegetables from seed for over 50 years.
He also loved his red Triumph TR2, his yellow Fiat X-19 and yellow Smart Car and was a faithful Toyota owner.
Dave was always willing to lend a hand or offer advice to Citroën Autoclub Canada members. His passing leaves a wealth of knowledge and experience, that will be greatly missed.
Visitation will be held at the D.J. Robb Funeral Home and Cremation Centre Ltd (102 Victoria St N, Sarnia) on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Funeral Service will be held in the chapel of the D.J. Robb Funeral Home on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow at Lakeview Cemetery.
Memorial donations in memory of David would be appreciated by the family and can be made to The Breast Cancer Society of Canada (http://bcsc.ca ) or a charity of your choice (http://canadahelps.org/en )
I’m saddened to hear of the passing of David. I first met David and Philippe in the late 90’s at a David Hume meet when he had his shop in Midway, Kentucky. I was eating lunch downtown and I heard David and Philippe chatting at the next table. Since I could speak French that was my entrée to join the discussion. From that time on, we spent our time together whether we were at Carlisle or in Massachusetts. When we had our SM’s we often caravaned together across Canada to the Rendezvous. David would bring his wine and we would have a grand time.
So long David and Godspeed!
Thank you for the lovely article remember Dave. We were friends from 1980. I used to bunk at Barrie Flea Market with Dave and Owen for several years. Saturday night was our drive into Barrie to a restaurant for a real meal. Dave was a real motorhead. Dave was just a real nice guy. We shared out interest in old cars for 40 years. I miss him and was sorry to hear that his wife passed on a short time after Dave left us. Richard Spiegelman.
Dave Kelly was a real gentleman, long time friend and a true automotive historian.