Kelby D. Love, 58, of Scottsdale, Ariz., formerly of Elkhart, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018.
He was born November 7, 1959, in Elkhart, IN., to Roger and Glenda Love.
He is survived by his mother, Glenda of Elkhart; two sisters: Jada Love of Phoenix, Ariz., and Joya (Derrick) Spencer of Laveen, Ariz.; a “brother-like” cousin, Dirk Whitaker of Plainfield, NJ; two nieces: Brooklyn Franklin of Elkhart, and Briley Smith of Laveen, Ariz., and a nephew, Bryce Smith of South Bend, IN. He was preceded in death by his beloved father, Roger.
Kelby Love is known worldwide as painter, sculptor, humanitarian, teacher and simply a “cool” guy. According to Kelby’s online bio, Kelby, “never doubted the focus of his life. From childhood, his interest in nature, particularly fish was enthusiastic and comprehensive, due to the many trips to the river with his father. Kelby has observed, sketched and painted animals since he could remember, and it has translated into firsthand knowledge of his subjects, which he transforms into exacting detail for his many clients. (Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, National Geographic, Essence and Ebony magazines, to name a few.) The artwork he creates conveys a sense of inner vitality that makes it more than mere windows into the natural world; that places the viewer into a particular living moment.”
Kelby was a featured Artist in the Arizona Fine Art Expo, the Carefree Fine Art and Wine Festival by Thunderbird Artists, and numerous Art Expos worldwide. As an Instructor at the Scottsdale Artists’ School, he enjoyed sharing his sculpting and painting expertise with others. Along with countless magazine spreads, his art work can be found in every city that he visited. His "Peace Mural" is a proud highlight of Elkhart, Indiana and can be seen on the outside wall on the corner of Prairie and Main Street.
Kelby had a true passion for children, family and friends. He loved to teach and work extensively with special needs children and the elderly. He was an avid fisherman and adventurer. Many will remember Kelby’s early years playing football at Roosevelt and Pierre Moran schools. He was a running back and defensive back at Elkhart Central High, Class of 1977.
Although Kelby was a gifted athlete, he turned away an athletic scholarship to pursue his passion for the arts. By surpassing the rigorous admittance criteria and with an exclusive scholarship, Kelby was accepted into the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. After a couple of years Kelby decided he wanted more hands-on training and less theory. He relocated to New Jersey with family. From there he was accepted into the exclusive Pratt Institute of Art in Brooklyn, New York.
The move to New Jersey allowed Kelby the opportunity to begin marketing his portfolio. By 1982, Kelby made his first sale, a little black-and-white drawing of a bass, to Field and Stream. He was paid $1,500. He grew his talents into a successful art career known for its incredible detailed art work. Kelby kept people laughing, smiling and was always humble with his open spirit and how he led his life.
Kelby will be truly missed by so many people including aunts, uncles, cousins, patrons, fellow Artist, friends around the world and Kelby’s “Crew”: Shaun Edgerton, Kerry Miller, Johnnie “Bone” McCarey all of Elkhart, Duane “Cavey” Owens of Tampa, FL., Charissa Barnes-Johnson of Texarkana, TX, Irv Smith of Az.(also of Notre Dame and the San Francisco 49ers), Oscar McBride of CA.(also of Notre Dame and the Arizona Cardinals), and special friends, Rick and Tee Singleton of Mishawaka. Just by living, Kelby taught us how to laugh and live our lives in living color.
Friends may call one hour prior to the 1:00 PM service on Saturday hosted by Rev. McNeal Stewart at Canaan Baptist Church located at 933 Fieldhouse Avenue in Elkhart, IN 46517. Pastor Marvin Pace of New Vision of Life Church will officiate. Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In the lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Beacon Health Foundation - In Tribute of Kelby Love.
The Beacon Health Foundation - In Tribute of Kelby Love
615 N. Michigan St.
South Bend, IN 46601
PH: 574.524.GIVE (4483)
Or online at beaconhealthsystem.org