Salisbury – The sun is burning the asphalt or the cold is enough to create snowflakes, Richard Kelly may be found burning down the road to the center of Salisbury on the Stewville Bolevard sidewalk.

“The heat, the cold, the rain, the snow — Richard Kelly is determined to run,” says Jane Kelly, a second wife of eight years. “It was almost like worrying about it.”

As he returned home from work each afternoon, Richard changed his black pants, tied his shoes, and took off his shirt. He left the Milford Nol neighborhood to record his daily quota between 6 and 10 miles. Richard could not run because he was bedridden or underwent surgery.

“It had to be real and good,” says Jane.

In a similar vein, as he ran almost every day, Richard became a member of the Salisbury community – accustomed to seeing a man without a friendly face and shirt returning home from work. Even to complete the guests, it was normal.

Jane: “We used to go somewhere and people would say ‘I’ve seen you run since I was a kid’. Or someone says, ‘I know who you are. You are the runner.

Salisbury runner Richard Kelly passed away last week at the age of 74. His life was celebrated by friends and family Sunday at Landmark Church.

Long before he became a man of faith, he had a bad body and mind.

A native of Salisbury, Richard graduated from Boydon High School (now Salisbury High) and served in the US Marine Corps. He returned to his homeland and married his first wife, Sandy. Sandy

As a young man, Richard had fallen into the wrong crowd. He began to drink, became addicted to drugs, and smoked up to three packs of cigarettes a day. The waistband stretched to 42 inches and exploded with a balloon over 200 pounds.

On the night of his second son Michael’s birth in 1979, Richard’s unhealthy lifestyle took a turn for the worse.

He knew that his life was about to change, and he went home that night and prayed, ‘If there is a God, please help me.’ Please change my life and give me a purpose, ‘said Jane. “He knew he would start running the next morning,” he said.

And followed him. In the afternoon, Richard went to Knox Middle School and tried to walk around the track. Not far away. His unhealthy habits put a strain on his body, and Richard struggled to run even a mile.

That did not stop him from firing another shot.

“Every day he goes back a little bit, a little bit forward, a little bit forward,” Jane said.

One mile became 2 and turned into 3. Eventually, Richard built up a steady ten-mile run. As his strength improved, so did other aspects of his life. He broke his nicotine habit and began to lose excess weight, losing more than 100 pounds.

Richard had previously been a member of the Landmark Church.

“After that point,” says David Wisenant, who lived with Richard for over ten years and was a close friend of Richard until his death, “he lived a life of service to God.” “That’s why. He set an example in Christian living. ”

Richard taught at Landmark Sunday School, chaired the deacon board and chaired the church’s finance committee.

“He was always here on Sunday morning,” said Landmark Pastor Mike Robinson. “He had a lot of roles. He had a lot of hats.

In front of the parishioners of the Church, Richard spoke of the change and used his experience to emphasize both the power of God and daily physical activity.

Richard’s commitment to the Church continued with the race.

It was reasonable to meet Richard Friedz, one of the most famous endurance athletes in Rowon County. But the two did not share in the race. Fried Richard says he did not focus on the Turkish Trots or 5k.

“He was an ordinary person who ran the road in his own time.” Freez said.

Richard is very skeptical of his running schedule and may return to his unhealthy ways. For inspiration, he even grabbed the giant jeans he once wore.

“Every time someone (Richard) asked how fast he was running, he would say it was because he was being chased by a fat Richard,” Wisenant said.

Every six months, Richard runs on twisted shoes.

“He was religious about the race,” said Robinson.

Once, Fryz and co-runner Dan Roseman decided Join Richard in his day-to-day running. Wearing his usual black shorts, Richard unbuttoned his shirt to look like his trademark.

“There was a builder who saw Richard in his daily life for a long time and he actually threw it away for months,” says Frizz. “Hey, Richard,” he shouted. Then he said, ‘Wait a minute, which one of you, Richard?’ It was so funny. We laughed for a while.

Empty chest, mustachioed trio made the front page of the Salisbury Post the next day.

A few days after the race, Richard Frisz and Roseman sent a copy of the text. It was a sign Richard often made.

“If anyone was going to school or going to school in the area and there was probably a star athlete or something on the paper, Richard would cut that off and deliver it to them,” Jane said. He said. “I can’t tell you how many frames we bought.”

Wisenant still has at least five recorded stories from Richard, in addition to the Sunday school cassettes that Richard taught.

Whether it was texts or copies, Richard was known for his small gifts.

Jane said: “He used to work, and I guess we would go to this prison, but he would make copies of children’s movies and he would have a way every week and he would take those movies and drive them and put them in the mailboxes. He said. He always brings things up, and I guess that’s why everyone loves him.

Richard was loved by many of the workers in Salisbury, with whom he had worked for four decades.

Dave Tram, who has been the mayor of Salisbury for 25 years, met Richard around 1985. The two quickly became friends, sharing a common belief and a desire to run. They often prayed together, says Treme, and Richard, the city’s director of disaster management, was assigned to provide security while praying for city officials.

With Richard’s safety guidelines, the city has reduced staff injuries and personal property damage, says Treme.

“There may be some risk managers like Richard Kelly, but I have never seen anything better than him,” said Treme.

Richard earned a bachelor’s degree from Apalchian Province while working full-time for the city. It became an insurance policy and a certified fragrance that allowed to smell unusual and dangerous odors on asphalt and other substances.

“He was the last professional and he worked incredibly hard,” says Treme.

A.D. After leaving the city of Salisbury in 2011, Trame and Richard continued to be friends. Richard retired four years later in 2015 and was given the key to the city. The city has named Richard a security award, which is still given today.

By the time he retired, Richard had a chance to fully explore his passion for antique cars and motorcycles. In 1932, Ford’s hot rod was painted bright yellow. The car, driven by Richard’s friend, followed Richard on his way to his final destination at City Memorial Park on Sunday.

Richard is survived by his two children, Michael and Rick, his sister Donna Roddy, his son-in-law, Will Plantents and grandson Bart Kelly and his beloved dog Cody Boy.