Kelly was born to Pastor Tommy Hugh McKibben and Connie Rometa McKibben on August 16, 1970, in Lamesa, TX. After Kelly graduated from Coronado High School in 1988, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated from boot camp in San Diego, CA on May 5, 1989, and was eventually stationed on Guam where he served the majority of his tenure. Kelly worked for intel and intercepted Morse code communications. He was also awarded the Rifle Expert award for his rifle skills.
Kelly became a father to his first child, Justin Thomas McKibben on June 1, 1992. Despite them not being blood-kin, he raised Justin as if he were his own. From that moment on, he was a father first and devoted the rest of his life to his children. On October 26, 1995, he had his second child, Shania Ly McKibben.
Kelly loved football—especially the Pittsburgh Steelers, Star Wars, Harley Davidson, Dr. Pepper, and all things USMC. He was the most athletic person around, taking whole volleyball teams on his own, muddin’ with his son, and teaching his daughter how to do a front handspring in the yard. Kelly was the life of the party, making people of all ages laugh at his antics until their sides hurt. He didn’t mind being the butt of the joke, so long as everyone was having a good time. Not many could make the funny faces he did, but it never stopped anyone from trying.
Kelly was extremely musically inclined. He could sing, play the cello, and slap the bass like nobody else, often playing by ear alone. He loved gospel, country, and rock and roll. He dissected each song and loved to talk technicalities with anyone who would listen.
Kelly exemplified the verse John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He would give his last dime to anyone in need, jump to help at church workdays, and put his own pain aside to comfort those who were hurting. Kelly spent decades as a carpenter, salesman, and general jack of all trades to provide for his family. Despite battling chronic illness, Kelly put his family and friends first, working until he could not any longer. He lived the rest of his days checking on his children daily and spreading The Gospel through talk, text, social media, and his everyday interactions.
Kelly was tenacious, strong, stubborn, and unwavering. Kelly was gentle, poetic, giving, and devoted. He was forgiving, loving, heroic, and tender-hearted. He knew no stranger ~ everyone was a brother or a friend.
Kelly was preceded in death by his father, Rev. Tommy McKibben.
Kelly’s memory will forever be treasured by his mother, Connie Rometa McKibben; his children, Justin McKibben; and Shania Ly Smith, and husband, Michael; his godson, Hunter Brian McKibben; his sisters, Lisa Huddleston, and husband, Joe; and Darla Beckham and husband, Rob; his nieces, Charity Donaldson, and husband, Chris; Brittney Loera, and husband, Javier; Calli Salazar; and Gabby Huddleston; great nephew and nieces, Noah and Sophia Loera, and Katelyn Donaldson; and a host of other family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made under Kelly’s name to the Lighthouse Church Children’s Ministry at LACGive.com.
Kelly Brian McKibben, 53, of Lubbock, TX answered the call home on October 11, 2023.