Obituary of Ali Jamal Gregory Paul Kelley
Ali Jamal Kelley, 43, an artist and resident of Portland, Oregon, passed away on June 27, 2018, following a long battle with brain cancer. Ali was born in Lansing, Michigan on August 5, 1974 and was raised by loving parents Linda and Gregory Kelley. Growing up, Ali was a very happy, loving and artistic child who celebrated the small things. He loved video games and maintained a lifelong love of LEGO, constantly building things big and small, even as an adult. In 1993, Ali was commissioned by Nike with 7 other high school students to paint a prominent mural in northeast Portland, which remained for over 20 years. He graduated from Portland’s Benson Polytechnic High School and went on to study at the Chicago Institute of Art where he met his lifetime friend and brother, Harold Smith. He then moved to Indiana and later, Texas, before settling back in Indiana where he worked for a media company and also spent several years providing art therapy at a center for troubled children. In 1998, Ali had his first son, Jacoby, named after his childhood friend and brother, Jacob Ferris. In 2004, Ali and Jacoby moved to Michigan to be closer to family and in 2010, Ali moved with Jacoby back to Portland, Oregon to be with his high school friend and sweetheart, Spring Hillhouse. They merged families and Ali welcomed his role as a father to two girls - Charity and Sierra. Together, Ali and Spring continued to provide and care for their three children, and each other. In 2015, Ali received his Bachelor of Arts from the Portland Institute of Art, proving the value of perseverance and that it is never too late to follow your dreams. He worked on several creative projects and continued to provide graphic design and layout assistance for his father’s paper, “The Michigan Bulletin”, even after his father passed away. Ali was many things – a father, a son, a brother. He was an artist, he was a poet and he was a chef. He loved hip hop music, Sci-Fi shows, and martial arts movies, especially those with Bruce Lee. He loved with every part of himself. He loved his friends as his brothers. He loved his dogs as his children. And he loved his children as his heart. He touched the lives of so many and he will truly be missed. Ali is survived by his wife, Spring Hillhouse; his children, Jacoby Kelley, Charity Waters, and Sierra Waters; his mother, Linda Kelley; and his sisters, Anisa Kelley and Tajalli (Justin) Hodge. He leaves behind a host of family and friends. He is preceded in death by his father, Gregory Kelley; and his grandmother Ann Watkins. A memorial service will be held at the family’s home in July. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family at www.gofundme.com/alijamalkelley. Additionally, you may contact the family at email@example.com to request an address to send cards and for more information regarding the memorial service.
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