Michael Brian Kellay Biography

It's not fair, my little brother Mike, who had just dropped off his two youngest kids at daycare, is gone. He was on his way to work at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn when he was tragically rear ended. Mike was stopped in morning rush hour traffic on I-94, only 5 miles from his home when a lady driving a full-size van at nearly 60 mph slammed into him pushing his car into another. Suddenly, Michael, father of three, Gracyn - age 6, Sarah - age 4, Alex - 4 months, and husband of Jennifer for 8 1/2 years, was gone instantly at the age 35.

For as long as I can remember Mike was a big sports fan. Growing up in Kalamazoo, we played Little League baseball in the Alamo and Westwood Little League programs. I remember watching the Detroit Tigers on TV in our big red house on C Avenue with Mike. As kids, we went to several Western Michigan University football and basketball games with our Dad. I am deeply sadden that Mike's three kids will never get the chance to go to one of these games with him. Mike graduated from Plainwell High School in 1989. While in high school, he played football and baseball. He developed many great friendships that still exist today. Mike started working at Little Caesars in 1988 w h ere he worked with the friends he made in elementary and middle school--JT, Walt, Maust and Seth. Once at Little Caesars, he made other great friends like Chuck. It was Little Caesars where he met his future wife Jennifer.

Mike graduated from Western Michigan University in 1997 and made his way to the Detroit area to be closer to Jen. The two married on October 10, 1998. It was a great day and a beautiful ceremony. There were hundreds of friends and family members that came together to celebrate their love for each other and the bright future that lay ahead. That was just the beginning of a beautiful life for Mike and Jen. They trusted each other, communicated openly with each other, were best friends, and loved each other dearly. Mike and Jen have many good friends in the Detroit area all bound together by the wives. Girlfriends of Jen's that all grew up together, partied together, got married together, had kids together, are still best of friends today. This "community" gave Mike another set of great friends in Detroit, who became as important to him as the "westside guys". Mike didn't replace friends--he added them; and that is a testimony to Mike's personality, values, and loyalty.

Mike hired in at Ford as a buyer in Powertrain Purchasing in November of 2002. He obtained his Masters degree from Wayne State University shortly thereafter. While at Ford, he visited many suppliers all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He even spent some time traveling internationally to Korea and China, as well as his most recent trip to the Ford offices in Cologne, Germany. True to his nature, Mike had many great friends at Ford. His co-workers described Mike as intelligent, funny, the "life of the party", charming, always exhibited a "can do attitude", and most of all a wonderful friend. Mike even managed to become good friends with a few of the sales managers that called on him.

Outside of work, Mike enjoyed golfing with his friends and attending sporting events and concerts. Mike had Lions season tickets with Chad and Jon and attended several home Tigers, Pistons, and Redwings games throughout the year. Clearly the Tigers were his favorite team and he went to countless games while living in Detroit. He even made a point to vacation in Florida with Jen for spring training a couple of times.a true Tigers Fan! The 2006 season was memorable year for the Tigers as they made it to the World Series. Mike made it to every home playoff game and even scored two tickets to Game One of the World Series. What a dream come true for Mike to see the Tigers in the World Series game at home and best of all, he was with his best friend (and wife) Jen. Thank you to everyone that provided my brother with tickets over the years, from Jen's boss, to many of Mike's suppliers at Ford. I can't begin to count the number of phone calls I got from Mike when he was at games in Detroit and I was still in Vegas. The calls were always the same and I will truly miss getting them in the future.

Although Mike loved his sports and friendships, nothing compares to the love he had for Jen and their three kids; Gracyn Elizabeth, Sarah Marie, and Alexander Evan. Many of Mike's hopes and dreams were shattered on May 16th. While we can never replace his energy, wit, fatherly wisdom and tenderness, we can try to make things easier for Jen and the kids. With help from family and friends, the life and memory of my brother will continue to live-on in this foundation and within his three kids. The foundation will provide college scholarships to other children in need that have lost a parent.

Thank you all for supporting the Michael B. Kellay Memorial Foundation in whatever way you can.

David Kellay