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Mike Kelley R.I.P.

  1. Seiko7A38

    Seiko7A38 May 10, 2014

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    Good morning Gentlemen.

    Please excuse the intrusion. My name is Paul Skett. I'm from England and I run a small watch forum for enthusiasts of the Seiko 7Axx series of 15 jewel quartz chronographs. Unfortunately, the only reason I've signed up to your forum is to pass on some bad news.

    Mike Kelley (a.k.a. Larry M. Kelley) of Ontario, California - your forum member MKelley sadly passed away on January 17th, 2014, aged 60.

    http://omegaforums.net/members/mkelley.899/

    Mike had joined my forum in December 2012 and bought a couple of nice Seiko 7A38's and a NOS Yema Spationaute III (which uses the same calibre). In the last week or so, I'd noticed a NOS Yema Spationaute III (and another NOS Yema quartz chrono') offered for sale by eBay seller Uconsignit in Claremont, CA - about 7 miles from where Mike lived. Put two and two together and messaged the seller, asking the question. The seller confirmed my worst fears yesterday.

    Mike was fairly eclectic in his watch collecting tastes, per his profile statement on my forum.

    [​IMG]

    What I didn't realize until I checked his Photobucket (Kilroy53) on Friday, was that he was a serious vintage Omega collector.
    Obviously people primarily host photos on PB, to enable themselves to link images to posts on internet forums.
    So I ran a quick search on your forum, and found he posted on here fairly regularly, using a 'Kilroy' avatar.

    Mike left an ex-wife, Debra and a girlfriend, Sue whose contact details I can supply upon request.
    Please pass on my (and my forum members') sincere condolences to any of Mike's friends and acquaintances on here.
     
  2. Seiko7A38

    Seiko7A38 May 10, 2014

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    My apologies to all (especially Mike's friends) if I have inadvertently posted this in the wrong forum section. If so, could a Mod please move.
     
  3. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter May 10, 2014

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    That is very sad news. I really enjoyed his conversation/participation here.

    Thank you for taking the time to let us know.
     
  4. Seiko7A38

    Seiko7A38 May 10, 2014

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    Looks like Mike was fairly active on here. According to his profile, his last visit was on 10th January, only a week before he passed away. Mike hadn't posted on my little forum since March 2013 - as you know people come and go; interests change. I may only have 375 members but it's not always that easy to keep tabs on everybody. Though that's no excuse really. :(
    Genuinely well-liked by everyone on my forum who'd had dealings with him - your archetypal 'nice bloke'.
     
  5. MMMD

    MMMD unaffiliated curmudgeonly absurdist & polyologist May 10, 2014

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    KingCrouchy and trackpad like this.
  6. Gavin

    Gavin It's the quiet ones you have to 'watch' out for. May 10, 2014

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    Sad to hear this news. I will remember Mike as a real gentleman. RIP Mike. You will be missed. And thanks Paul.
     
  7. Stewart H

    Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident May 10, 2014

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    Very sad indeed. Thanks for letting us know Paul.
     
  8. MSNWatch

    MSNWatch Vintage Omega Aficionado Staff Member May 10, 2014

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    RIP MKelley you will be missed here.
     
  9. Seiko7A38

    Seiko7A38 May 10, 2014

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    Again, Gentlemen - my sincere apologies for being the bearer of sad tidings. I just thought you ought to know.
     
  10. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. May 10, 2014

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    You are totally excused for your intrusion.

    My thoughts.

    Too young for Mike to go. :(

    And to all of his circle, my condolences, hardly enough I know, but heartfelt.

    Although it's "only" over the internet, we do feel deeply for our friends that have come to us over the ether and have shared some small and sometimes intimate parts of their lives.

    So fair winds and good seas to take you over the bar.
     
    NT931 likes this.
  11. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member May 10, 2014

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    Thanks for letting us know, he was a lovely bloke to have around
     
  12. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus May 10, 2014

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    Paul, thank you for notifying us. It's a sad day for us, and Mike will be remembered fondly for his enthusiasm and eagerness to learn new brands.

    RIP Mike.
     
  13. Seiko7A38

    Seiko7A38 May 10, 2014

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    Very nice, but not quite my cup of tea. :whistling:
    Here's the watch both myself and a few of my forum members will remember Mike by - his NOS Yema Spationaute III. These are Mike's own wrist shots (still currently hosted in his Photobucket account) that he posted in my WRUW thread in January 2013.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    (In fact these watches aren't particularly easy to photograph because of their 2.8mm thick shallow double-domed Hesalite crystal)

    I've got 'a few' of them myself - indeed they're my favourite (non-Seiko) variant of 7A38.

    But what was of special significance, was Mike's brief involvement with them.
    In 2012, the erstwhile US distributor for Yema uncovered a cache of NOS Yema Spationaute III's. They started listing them on eBay, with opening bid prices @ $250 - a comparative bargain if you've seen the stupid prices that French sellers sometimes try to ask for well-worn used examples. But their $60 shipping cost to Europe (and potential for paying 20% VAT on import) kind of took the edge off them. So I asked for a US-based forum member who would be prepared to drop-ship them - someone to act as a 'middle-man' if you know what I mean. ;) Mike kindly volunteered. He may even have shipped one to New Zealand.

    Anyway, I'm pleased to say that Mike's Yema Spationaute III has ended up in the hands of another California based member of my forum - one who had also unknowingly bought one of Mike's Seiko 7A38's from eBay seller Uconsignit, back in April. He wrote:

    [​IMG]

    PS - On a lighter note, there's a thread on my forum discussing the relative merits / rarity / values of Yema Spationaute III's (which were space flown) with the far more common Omega 'Speedy' Moon watch. But you guys don't want to know about that, do you ? :p
     
    Foo2rama likes this.
  14. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker May 10, 2014

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    Sad news - thanks for letting us know.

    Al
     
  15. cicindela

    cicindela Steve @ ΩF Staff Member May 10, 2014

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    Very, very sad. Mike was very well summed by ULF with, enthusiasm and eagerness. Myself and other moderators were constantly engaged in behind the scenes vetting and recommending conversations with Mike. Always cheerful and filled with excitement, it was hard to slow him down. Telling Mike to take his time was impossible, I now realize he had so little. Mike was the stuff forums are built of. :(
     
  16. Dablitzer

    Dablitzer May 10, 2014

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    RIP :( This is really sad news... I remember Mikes conversations well, full of vigour and passion to learn. He will be sorely missed from here indeed... Life is so precious, i'm just glad he chose to spend some of his moments with us...
     
  17. hoipolloi

    hoipolloi Vintage Omega Connoisseur May 10, 2014

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    Rest in peace my friend.

    We will miss you.
     
  18. rhetoric

    rhetoric May 10, 2014

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    Nicely put, Jim. My thoughts as well.
     
    CdnWatchDoc likes this.
  19. Privateday7

    Privateday7 quotes Miss Universe May 10, 2014

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    RIP Mike Kelley. My condolonces to his family.
    Thanks Paul to bring up this important news.
     
  20. X350 XJR

    X350 XJR Vintage Omega Aficionado May 10, 2014

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    Sad indeed, I had several off forum conversations with him, always a pleasure.

    He will be missed.