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Harlan R Blakely

Harlan R. Blakely, age 62, of Louisville, KY, passed away on March 10, 2024.

He was born on June 25, 1961 in Clear Lake, CA, son of the late Harold Ray Blakely and Ruth Maxine Priest. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Brad Blakely.

Harlan was raised in Lakeport, CA and was a 1979 graduate of Clearlake High School. Upon graduating, he joined the US Army where he served from 1979 to 1995. He proudly served in the Field Artillery, lance missiles, and received numerous awards and honors, to include the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara. He served in several overseas assignments, including a tour in Korea and 3 tours in Germany. He was proficient in the German language. After his service, he obtained his security certification and worked several years in various security positions, to include Security Manager of Ocean Insurance in Bangkok, Thailand.

Upon returning stateside, Harlan entered the transportation industry and was an over the road driver for over twenty years. Harlan’s future changed on July 13, 2014, as that was the night that Kelly answered his personal ad on Craigslist. One week later, they met in person for the first time. Their first date was attending Mass at St Paul Church. The rest of that evening was spent at Kelly’s house. She sent Harlan on his way that night with a batch of her “husband getter” cookies, and his fate was sealed. Within three months they were engaged, and they were married on September 26, 2015. Their wedding night was spent in the ER at Audubon Hospital, and their first week of married life was spent in the hospital.

Harlan and Kelly loved to travel. Kelly loved to go with Harlan in his semi-truck, and they saw several states together. Whether for work or pleasure, they had many adventures together. Their first trip was to Arizona, their honeymoon was in Seattle, and trips to St Louis, Chicago, San Antonio, Kansas City, Lawton, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg were just a few places they have made beautiful memories. Refusing to grow up, they constantly played “slug bug.” You can count on one hand the number of times that Harlan won. Kelly is definitely the slug bug champ. They enjoyed being a house divided. Harlan rooted for UofL, while Kelly bleeds blue for UK. Their many bets over who would win a game, once again Kelly reigns as champ. They joked and laughed a lot. Harlan loved to harass those he loved. Charlotte and Barbara were his main targets. As much as he dished it out, though, they could give it right back. 

We’ll miss you, Harlan. You were loved by so many.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kelly Blakely; daughter, Katie Blakely; step-children,Tara Linfoot, and Will (Lisa) Pike; grandchildren, Caleb Barr, Caiden Barr, and Graysen Barr; step-grandchildren, Katie Jo Goodman, Madison Compton, Logan Compton, TammyLee Pike, and Jep Pike; and three sisters, Patricia Gallerin, Margaret Adams, and Deborah (Larry) Gore.

Visitation will be held on Monday, March 18, 2024, from 1:00-8:00 P.M. EDT at Bruington-Jenkins-Sturgeon Funeral Home and on Tuesday from 9:00 AM-10:00 AM at St. Theresa of Avila Catholic Church in Payneville, KY.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at 10:00 AM EDT at St. Theresa of Avila Catholic Church with burial to follow in the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central in Radcliff, KY.

Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of donations to the Gary Sinise Foundation, a non-profit program that helps our Veterans and active-duty soldiers when they need it most. Donations may be made through their website ( or mailed to (Gary Sinise Foundation, PO Box 40726, Nashville, TN 37204)

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