John Mason Kelly


November 16, 2023

John Mason Kelly passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, November 12, 2023 in Billings, Montana after a long battle with cancer with his daughter by his side. He was a resident of Worland, WY at the time of his passing and for most of his life.

Born May 27, 1939 in Broadus, MT the son of Nellie Dean Warford and Samuel Kelly. The family moved to Worland in 1947, and worked a farm on West River Road for many years.

Mason worked many different jobs through his youth such as a roughneck and truck driver. When he went to work for The Elmer Eckhardt farm in the late 1960's he met the love of his life, Sharon Agee. They were married on July 31, 1966, and 9 months later, on May 1 welcomed their only child Diana Lynn.

Mason was primarily a painter during the early years of marriage working for Velte Painting until taking a job at Holly Sugar. While with Holly he was a mechanic and the only employee to run the large crane, which he was quite proud of. He took an early retirement from the company following a back injury.

Mason had a great love of the outdoors, especially the mountains and all types of wildlife. He insisted on many camping trips every summer and fall. Sharon would load the "grub box" and the family would head to the mountains for fishing and campfires. He was also an avid hunter and spent several seasons as a guide for out-of-state hunters with his close friend Hugh Baird in the mountains around the Baird cabin.

When Diana was old enough to join 4-H, Mason became a horse project leader, and so began his long career of helping youth in the community that he loved so much. He was instrumental in starting the shooting sports program and took great pride in his kids and their skill. He was able to accompany some of the best on multiple trips to Raton, NM, which was always a highlight for him.

Mason participated in many competitions himself excelling in Black Powder and Trap shooting.

When his grandson Zach was born, Mason was over-joyed. Through the years he instilled a great love of shooting and all things guns with Zach. He loved watching Zach play sports, traveling to many football and basketball games to see his grandson.

During his final years, Mason spent many hours driving the roads around town "checking up" on the farmers. He reported to anyone who would listen on the progress of each crop around the county.

Mason never met a stranger, through his long and full life he made many, many friends who will miss his wit and storytelling.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon; older brother Sam Kelly, Jr (Stevensville, MT); younger sister Tola Miller-Stewart 2013 (Salt Lake City, UT) and son-in-law Chuck Rudelich, 2020.

Mason is survived by his daughter, Diana (Chuck) Rudelich (Rock Springs); grandchildren, Carly (Ben) Hautala (Rock Springs), Zachary Rudelich (Rock Springs); great-grandchildren: Drake, Deklyn and Cade Hautala (Rock Springs); sisters, Bonnie (Bill) Hefenieder (Worland) and Betty (Earl) Ernst (Casper) and many cousins, nieces and nephews, and his "adopted" daughter Megan Lathop and her family.

Services will be held at the LDS Church in Worland 1:00 PM, Friday November 17, 2023, followed by graveside services at the Worland cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make memorial donations to the Washakie County 4-H shooting sports program. Checks may be sent to PO Box 524 Worland, Wyoming 82401. Online condolences may be made at


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