Left the Range George Kelbly Sr

James Kelbly

New member
George E. Kelbly Sr., age 87 of North Lawrence, Ohio passed away May 14, 2024, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

George was born October 21,1936 in Marshallville, Ohio, to John and Emma (Butzer) Kelbly and graduated from Smithville High School in 1954. He married the love of his life Karen Elizabeth Bodager in 1957 and she survives.

George was a 25-year Union Bricklayer, he also was a custom homebuilder and a Wayne County HBA President. In 1969 he started Kelbly’s Rifle Range which hosted many benchrest tournaments from regional, national, and international events including the Firearms Industry Super Shoot for 50 years. In 1981 he and Ralph Stolle formed Kelbly’s Inc., a firearms manufacturing company that his three sons and two grandsons currently run building and selling firearms Worldwide. George was extremely proud of his and his families’ accomplishments in the firearms industry.

George was a member of the Orrville Ohio Masonic Lodge 430, a lifetime NRA member. A lifetime member, Regional Director, and National President for the National Benchrest Shooters Association (NBRSA). He was inducted into the NBRSA Eastern Region Hall of Fame. He was a Regional, National and World Champion in Benchrest group shooting. He and Karen traveled throughout the USA and many foreign countries for him to compete.

In addition to his wife, Karen, surviving are his daughter Marilyn (Mark) Endicott, sons George Jr (Ruthie) Kelbly, James (Cheryl) Kelbly, Mike (Kim) Kelbly, six grandsons Ian (Amy) Kelbly, Ryan Kelbly, Max (Eva Mae) Kelbly, Eddie (Tara) Battig, Nathan Kelbly, Caleb Endicott and two great grandchildren Gunner Kelbly, and Kennedy Jones.

He was preceded in death by both parents; sister Marilyn Wyckoff, and brother John (Wes) Kelbly Jr.

Service will be held Friday May 17, 2024, 10am viewing and 11am service at Auble Funeral Home in Orrville, Ohio. Graveside services at Maple Grove Cemetery in Marshallville Ohio.

In leu of flowers, donations can be made Elara Caring Hospice 1530 W Market St Akron, OH 44313
 
Jim, condolences to you and and family. With the passing of George, a BR foundation stone, we are diminished.
 
Jim,
Thanks for letting us know and so sad to hear. This must be a very difficult time for you and your family. I remember many of his stories about the old days of benchrest.
May God comfort you and your family in the days ahead.
John
 
Jim, my deepest condolences to you and all the family. The name of Kelbly is synonymous with Benchrest and will proudly stay forever.
 
So sorry to hear this. I have many fond memories of over 20 years at the Super Shoot. My sincere condolences to all of the Kelbly family. I always remember how welcoming they made me feel. A truly special group.
 
My sincere condolences to all of the Kelbly family. They always welcomed me and made me feel like I belonged. The most memorable time I saw him was at Midland. He acted like we were old friends and I really enjoyed spending the week with him. He will be missed by all his friends and family.
 
Jim,
We mourn the passing of a great man, a legend of the sport.
I met George back in 1980, and he left a lifetime impression on me.
My condolences to all.
 
I first met George at the first WBC in France and truly enjoyed the conversations that we had. His contributions to and achievements in Benchrest undoubtedly make him a true legend of our sport. My sincere condolences to his family.
 
I FIRST MET HIM AT A SHOOT IN BRADENTON FL. IN 2002/3. ALTHOUGH I WAS A NEW SHOOTER HE TREATED ME WITH OPEN ARMS. IN THE FEW TRIPS I MADE TO THE FAMILY RANGE IN OHIO BEFORE I LOST SIGHT IN MY RIGHT EYE HE ALWAYS TREATED ME THE SAME. ALWAYS FRIENDLY, ALWAYS UPFRONT, FRANK, AND PATIENT WITH A NEW SHOOTER. MY DEEPEST RESPECT AND PRAYERS FOR HIM AND HIS FAMILY!! REST IN PEACE GEORGE. PRAYERS AND BEST WISHES TO HIS FAMILY
 
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