Kelly Owen Burk was
born May 21, 1952, into a
large Texas family. After pressure from doctors to institutionalize him, Kelly’s family chose to make a life-changing decision to raise him in a loving home. The doctors explained Kelly would be in a vegetative state, but to everyone’s surprise he flourished as he mimicked his siblings’ movements, speech and social behavior.
Overtime, Kelly began to develop his own unique personality. He was joyful, curious, ornery and most of all loving. Many things brought him happiness, especially, hamburgers, “I Love Lucy” reruns, game shows, dancing and family. He lived to tease his siblings and was quite the comedian.
After many years of being raised in a small country town, things changed when the health of his parents declined. Kelly and his mother were welcomed by Brad, his older brother, to come and live in Dallas. He fell in love with big city living! Immediately he took to eating out, going to the movies, the mall with regular visits to the Disney Store. His favorite restaurant quickly learned that his favorite phrase was “Hacky Birfday!”, which was Kelly’s way of reflecting a good time. The staff would then sing “Happy Birthday!” and bring him ice cream on every visit. He was spoiled rotten!
One of things Kelly loved most about Dallas was his nephew, Jordan. They shared a special bond and many fun-filled adventures. Jordan introduced Kelly to the world of style and hats, always keeping him looking sharp. Kelly adopted Jordan’s Dalmatian, Travers (The inspiration for Tex) as his own.
Kelly’s life was an inspiration to all he met and is continuing to impact others through his message of love, joy and acceptance. Kelly’s life was not restricted by the opinions and limitations set by others. Remember you had purpose before anyone had an opinion.
His story of overcoming will live on through the “Kelly” series.