Announcing the Donald A. Kelley Memorial Fund


Don Kelley 1

Mr. Donald Kelley was born on October 7, 1946 in Butler, PA. After attending the University of Cincinnati where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Don joined the Ford Motor Company in 1973.  The following year, on October 18, 1974, Don started to practice judo under Seiji Araki and Noboru Saito at the Southfield Judo & Karate Club, (later Yamaga Judo & Karate Club).

In 1977 he married Alexandra (Sandy) who grew up outside Pittsburgh, PA. While he was working and starting a family, Don earned his master’s degree from Wayne State University.

Don Kelley 2Judo continued to be an important part of Don’s life and on October 10, 1982 he earned the rank of Shodan. When I began teaching at the Birmingham Y in November 1985, Don became a volunteer
assistant instructor. While helping me teach for nearly three decades, Don continued to study and train, ultimately achieving the rank of Godan on December 14, 2009.

At some point in each of their lives, his three children (Dan, Eric and Megan) joined Don in his judo practice. Faithfully, Don was at the dojo at least twice a week and after his retirement from Ford 2007, he helped with judo classes three times a week. Don made a difference in so many lives through teaching judo at the Y.

Sadly, Don passed away on December 26, 2014 after a couple years fighting cancer.

Honoring his devotion to judo and Saito Dojo, his wife, Sandy, and I created the Donald A. Kelley Memorial Fund.

This fund is part of Michigan Judo Development Association, Inc. (MJDA) program. MJDA is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit Corporation.

Contributions to the fund will honor Don’s role as an instructor and primarily benefit the students in the Birmingham Y Judo program by assisting with expenses such as class fees, membership fees with USJF and/or USA Judo, the spare gis program, and travel assistance to events.

Please consider making a contribution to the Donald A. Kelley Memorial Fund in honor of Don’s 40 years of devotion to practicing and teaching judo.

Contributions may be made by sending a check made out to MJDA to: MJDA – 139 Roth Blvd., Clawson, MI 48017 (Please write on note – Don Kelley Fund)

Thank you.

Noboru Saito
(and Alexandra Kelley and Tim Jordan of the Donald A. Kelley Memorial Fund Committee)

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Please designate MJDA as your charity


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