Clinton Stepfather Dies at Age 91

FEBRUARY 1, 2007 - Posted at 6:16 a.m. CST

HOT SPRINGS, AR - The minister who performed the wedding ceremony for Bill Clinton's mother and the ex-president's stepfather, Dick Kelley, will preside Saturday at Kelley's funeral in Hot Springs.  Kelley died yesterday at his home in Hot Springs at the age of 91.

The Rev. John Miles said the former president is scheduled to speak at the funeral of the man Clinton says he grew to love after his mother remarried.

Kelley was a salesman, running a family food brokerage business for many years in Little Rock before retiring in 1992.  He had been in declining health in recent weeks.  Two sources close to the Clinton family said he had suffered from cancer.

He and Clinton's mother met at Oaklawn race track, and the two of them shared a passion for gambling.  When they married in 1982, it was his second marriage and her fourth.

The former president wrote in his memoir, "My Life," that he came to love Dick Kelley and grew ever more grateful for the happiness he brought Virginia Kelley and Clinton himself.

Clinton said Kelley was one of his favorite golf companions.  Kelley also cherished the former president, referring to him as his best friend.  He said Clinton was just a regular guy.

During Clinton's presidency, Kelley seemed comfortable in the shadows of his stepson and the gregarious Virginia.  The Kelleys were married 12 years before she died January 6, 1994, after a battle with breast cancer.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)