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John Kelley Veteran
August 03, 2020


STANDISH, MAINE – John Lincoln Kelley (Big John), beloved father of Michelle Anne Kelley-Caswell and Colleen Erin Kelley, of Standish, Maine passed away Monday August 3rd, 2020.

Born in Chicago, Illinois on May, 21, 1938, he was educated at St. John’s Preparatory School, Louisiana State University, and the United States Army. John was stationed at the Jungle Warfare Training Facility in Panama where he also met and married Barbara (Bunchy) Gegg-Kelley. His younger years were split between Hodge, Louisiana and Lamoine, Maine where he was either hunting, fishing or swimming in Frenchman’s Bay with the family finally settling in Bangor, Maine in the 50’s.

After various jobs including construction, well drilling and selling Insurance, John opened Big John’s Lobster Pot in Brewer, where he gained an amazing education as a cook (plus a little weight) and never looked back. He worked at Tripp’s Restaurant in Bar Harbor and then at The Log Cabin Restaurant in Hulls Cove as their Executive Chef for many years. His winters were spent working at restaurants and clubs around the West Palm Beach area in Florida, where he spent just as much time fishing as he did cooking. John retired from working for his daughter Colleen at Silly’s Restaurant in Portland just three years ago.

Big John was bigger than life and will always be remembered for his infectious smile, his gift of telling a story that will make you laugh until your ribs hurt, and his amazing Barbeque Ribs. His “colorful” life was filled to the brim with a loving family, great friends, amazing food, and a penchant for riding the roads looking for every hot dog stand along the way.

Big John is predeceased by his parents Charles Lintott and Merle Selma (Lincoln) Kelley; his children’s mother Barbara “Bunchy” Gegg-Kelley and his best friends Alfred Haskell and Paul Connor. He is survived by his children Michelle Anne Kelley-Caswell, her husband Mark R. Caswell and Colleen Erin Kelley; brothers Charles L. Kelley, Jr. of Ellsworth, T. Michael Kelley and his wife Beth of Port Townsend, Washington, Edward Kelley and his wife Barbara of North Carolina, and Joseph Kelley of Florida; cousins Theodore and Mary Merle Laborde of New Orleans, Louisiana and his wonderful nieces, nephews, and their children.

A celebration of his life will be held in September. Please e-mail for details.

In lieu of flowers, Big John’s family recommends you make a contribution to your local Hunting and Fishing Conservation Organizations in his memory.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service, Buxton,

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Chad E. Poitras Cremation & Funeral Service
498 Long Plains Road
Buxton, ME 04093