Michael James Kelley was born on September 8, 1951, to Marie and Merlin (Jim) Kelley at St.
Mary's hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado. He grew up in the Appleton area and attended Appleton Elementary school. He then went on to Fruita schools and graduated from Fruita Monument High in 1969.
Mike attended the old Mesa College for a period of time, majoring in the arts. He was an artist, musician, a surveyor, and had many talents. He was a lead surveyor and did all the layout survey work for the Grand Junction Mall. He was nicknamed the "King of the Mall". He also traveled overseas to Africa and did survey work for contractors there for a couple of ears.
In 1978, he married Robin Dawson, and had one daughter from that marriage, Kay Lynn, but later divorced in 1981. He worked various jobs in-between and here and there. He worked as an orderly at St. Mary's hospital, the bus depot, etc. until landing the job as a surveyor for many years. He lived in Denver, Colorado for a good number of years working in engineering and survey companies until relocating back to Grand Junction. He married again in North Carolina, then returned to Grand Junction, with his wife, Teresa (Jackson) and two children, Dillion and Melissa, then later divorced.
Mike was a very prolific musician and songwriter and played many venues throughout the Denver, Boulder, and Grand Junction areas. He played in a duo, "Page Two", for many years with his boyhood friend, Dave Gordon, (a.k.a. Chapin West). He played music with his other good friend Scott, along with many others. Finally in 2006, after forming a band called "Midnight Crossing", he recorded an album of original music with friends he had grown up with, and a couple he met along the way. The album which is still available online, is twelve original songs of the rockabilly-acoustic-rock variety.
Mike was probably the happiest whenever he played and sang onstage. He liked people and didn't care what color, race or origin of birth you were. He was a very interesting character and had a very independent style, which sometimes came close to getting himself into trouble. He would be the first to tell you he wasn't perfect and not always agreeable; but hey, that's who he was. We could all take a lesson in humility by addressing the fact that we all have faults, make mistakes, and be willing to accept and admit it. It would also behoove us to take the time now to let others know you care for them and how you really feel about them. The opportunity may escape you and be too late.
Michael James (his stage name) loved to walk on hikes, explore the land and just take it all in. He loved the outdoors, and being a surveyor he walked his share of paths, roadways and mountain trails--and then decided to take the "final hike" unto a new and unexplored pathway. The one we shall all eventually walk upon. Check it out my friend, so when we meet up again, you can show us the ropes.
He is survived by his daughter Kay Lynn Kelley-Sharp (David) of Seattle, Washington, a grandson, Thayton Sharp (Seattle, Wash.); daughter, Melissa, son, Dillon (both of North Carolina) granddaughters: Cierra Hoecker, Chicago, Ilinois; Alyssa Hoecker, Grand Junction.
Many friends, fellow musician friends, and a whole slew of people he met along the way. His music and eccentricities shall be remembered, and we will have a memorial service at a later date, to be announced and shared at that time.
"Keep playing music my good friend, and we will hear you" In the meantime, we'll toast you, sing one of your songs and send you our love. From everybody you know and all your relatives