Cover photo for Jonathan Kelly Case's Obituary
Jonathan Kelly Case Profile Photo
1984 Jonathan 2024

Jonathan Kelly Case

August 27, 1984 — April 9, 2024

Jonathan ‘Kelly’ Case was born on August 27, 1984, in Dallas, Texas. He left this life for eternity on April 9, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri. He was and continues to be the cherished son of Sandra Mead of Las Cruces, NM and Kansas City, MO and John Michael Case of Phoenix, AZ. 

With big beautiful green eyes, blond curly hair, and a big radiant smile, Kelly was a charming and charismatic child. Kelly walked at ten months and his first word was, “ball!” which was a significant indicator of his lifelong love of competitive sports. Kelly was truly a gifted athlete. As a child, coached by his father in baseball, he was selected each year for the All-Star team. He was a natural leader and helped his teams win numerous tournaments and championships. Kelly also excelled in soccer, tennis, football, and golf. Upon entering high school Kelly played varsity golf as a sophomore, competed at state, and had two hole-in-ones by the age of seventeen. 

Kelly attended pre-school, elementary and middle school in El Paso, Texas. After school he would race to complete his homework and projects so he would have more time for practice for his numerous sporting activities. Kelly graduated from Deer Valley High School in 2003. He attended University of Arizona in Tucson and New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. 

On May 28, 2002, Kelly was seriously injured in an automobile accident and suffered a life changing T-12/L1 spinal cord injury causing lower body incomplete paralysis. Even though Kelly could no longer walk, he refused to surrender. His journey was not defined by the limitations of his wheelchair but by his boundless spirit to continue living a full and productive life. Kelly was more than just a young man who faced adversity; he was a beacon of positivity, resilience, unwavering strength, and tremendous courage. 

Those who were fortunate to know Kelly understood that his athletic prowess transcended the boundaries of his wheelchair. He approached sports with a passion and determination that inspired all who witnessed his feats on the court or field. Kelly continued to participate in sports and played golf, tennis, baseball, and basketball. He played competitively on the University of Arizona wheelchair basketball team and Phoenix Suns and Albuquerque Kings wheelchair basketball teams. Kelly was picked twice to play on the All-Star National Wheelchair Basketball Team representing the best of the disabled athletes at the tournament. He most recently played on the Kansas City Royals wheelchair baseball team where he excelled as an outfielder and hitter. His indomitable spirit shone brightest in the face of competition, reminding us that his true strength came from within.

Kelly became a life-long and loyal Kansas City Chiefs fan at the age of seven when his Uncle Jim Mead took him to his first home game! He loved cheering for the Chiefs and was often hoarse the day after a game. In 2020 Kelly and his uncle Jim, courtesy of his favorite great aunt, Nancy Masterson, also a loyal Chiefs fan and affectionately referred to by Kelly, as Grannie Nan sent Kelly and his Uncle Jim to Super Bowl LIV where they witnessed the Kansas City Chiefs become the NFL Super Bowl Champions for the first time in 50 years! Kelly's featured photo was taken by his Uncle Jim at the Super Bowl.

He embraced his life with an infectious optimism, the biggest smile and a delightful sense of humor and wit. Kelly could imitate anyone - Jim Carrey one of his favorites and would have his friends and family laughing with his countless imitations and antics. Kelly was a devoted animal advocate and lover and from birth had one or more dogs, cats, fish, rabbits, or hamsters. Often the animals he brought home were strays. They were all cherished, loved and on the furniture. One of his dreams was to start an animal sanctuary. 

Kelly's impact extended far beyond the realm of sports. He was a pillar of support for his family, a loyal friend to many, and a source of unwavering encouragement to those facing their own trials. Kelly, his sister Morgan, and their father volunteered to build a Christian orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. Kelly was baptized Catholic. He made his first communion at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in El Paso, TX. He attended catechism through middle school and attended mass with his sister, Morgan, and his mother.

Kelly joined his mother and great aunt in Las Cruces in 2014. His love of sports and fitness continued throughout his career. He worked as a manager at gyms in Las Cruces, New Mexico motivating his friends and clients to achieve their goals. Kelly exercised and worked out extensively, his videos posted on social media garnered hundreds of likes and shares. In 2022 he moved to Kansas City to support his Aunt Wendy through her cancer journey. His genuine kindness, compassion, and uplifting presence left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him.

His father Mike writes, “He was modest and respectful of others. He was kind - not just nice - to others. He did not whisper, taunt, or participate in rumors. He dared mighty things, was creative, fair, and honest. And he was sincere in his efforts to help those less fortunate. Kelly was a terrific son and had more courage than any man I have ever met.” Kelly, your spirit will continue to inspire us, your memory will continue to uplift us, and your legacy will live on in the countless lives you touched. May you find eternal peace and boundless joy in the arms of angels. We honor your remarkable life as a beloved son, brother, nephew, friend to many, and inspiration to us all.

 Kelly is survived by his parents, Sandra Mead and John Michael Case and a myriad of loving aunts, uncles, and cousins and friends. He is predeceased by his precious sister Morgan Melannie Case, grandparents Donald D. and Patricia Mead, grandparents Joan and Stan Case, and Grannie Nan, his maternal great aunt, Nancy Masterson.

Rest easy, darling Kelly, you are now with your best friend and baby sister, Morgan. You will always and eternally be deeply missed and loved, but our memories of your strong spirit and big heart and beaming white smile will never fade.

Kelly’s funeral mass was lovingly planned by his Godfather and Uncle Don Mead at Visitation Parrish in Kansas City on Saturday, April 27 at 10 am. His burial Monday, April 30 at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Raytown, MO. He will be buried with his sister at the same cemetery as his maternal grandparents.
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