Butch Jelley

Butch Jelley

Tuesday, July 2nd, 1940 - Friday, May 1st, 2020
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Clarence “Butch” Jelley, 79, a resident of Simonsville Road, Andover, VT died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Friday, May 1, 2020 following a long illness.

Born in Rockville, CT on July 2, 1940, Butch grew up in Weston and Pownal and was a member of the Class of 1958 of Chester High School.

Butch was married to Beverly (Stevens) Jelley and they would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this coming October.

He was the father of two daughters from his previous marriage to Linda (Taff) Jelley; Lisa Jelley (Mike Capuano) of Bennington and Lori Jelley Bodine (Geoff Bodine) of Malabar, Florida; grandchildren Nicole (Glen) Sauer, Katelyn (Mike Sandquist) Cushman and Carson Cushman (Amber O’Brien); great-grandchildren Jack and James Sauer and Lillian, Evan and Carter Sandquist; siblings Joanne Ely of Hoosick Falls, NY, Jamie Jelley (Prudy) of North Pownal, Lyle Jelley (Robin O’Dowd) of Moore, SC, Keith “Skeeter” Jelley (Fran) of Bennington, Gary Jelley of North Pownal, Sharon Nichols (Billy) of Pownal, Pamela Cuddihy (Rick) of Hoosick Falls, NY and Wayne Jelley (Heather O’Dell) of Pittsfield, MA; step brother and sister, Cheryl and Derryl Jelley of North Adams, MA.
Beverly’s children, Charles (Billie Clay) Abbott of Londonderry and Susan (David) Brown of South Londonderry, grandchildren Ryan, Haley and Emily Abbott, Jessica Perkins (William) and Taylor Brown (Josh) and great-grandchildren Wyatt and Maverick Perkins and Kora Jean Abbott. He is also survived by a special sister-in-law, Joyce Mathews, a special niece, Stephanie Casey and close lifelong friend, Ed Warner.

Butch was predeceased by brothers-in-law, Chuck Ely and Steve Mathews, his parents, Gladys (Campbell) Jelley Hall and James R. Jelley Sr., his grandparents, Fred and Alta Jelley and his step-mother, Pamela (Shea) Jelley.

Most of Butch’s lifetime was spent as a business owner and automobile mechanic. In early years he owned and operated garages in Pownal and North Adams, MA and for many years has owned Jelley Enterprises in Londonderry.

Butch had a love for stock car racing. Since he began racing in 1957 he competed in his home state of Vermont and at speedways in New York, New Hampshire and southern Canada. Most of Butch’s success and popularity came at Lebanon Valley Speedway. In 1960 he received the “Rookie Award”. His first win was in 1965 and his last win at Lebanon Valley was in 1989. He had a ten-year stretch where he finished in the top 10 in points from 1965 – 1974.

Butch was inducted into the Lebanon Valley Hall of Fame in 1978 where he sits nineth with an all-time win list of 31 wins at Lebanon Valley.

Butch’s sole point championship title came at Devils Bowl Speedway in Fair Haven, VT. He exited the oval with the 1975 Champlain Valley Racing Association (CVRA) Modified Championship and 17 trips to Victory Lane.

In 1993 Butch was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA). In 2003 NYSSCA added Butch to their elite “Hall of Fame”. He was welcomed into the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame in 2005. He also was honored with the “Decades of Racing Award” from NYSSCA in 2001.

Butch’s popularity was clearly evident last season when Lebanon Valley hosted a “Legends of Lebanon Valley” event where he was surrounded by young and old alike. Butch’s youngest brother, Wayne, still actively races at Lebanon Valley Speedway and last year he replicated Butch’s famous “Yellow X” automobile during the 2019 race season.

He also won trophies for his snowmobiling racing during the 1970’s.

Butch was a member of both Chester American Legion SAL Post 67 and VFW Post 1332 in Bennington, the NYSSCA and their “Old Timers Club” and for several years served on the Vermont State Racing Commission.

Due to issues surrounding the COVID-19 situation services will be postponed until a time to be announced.

Memorial contributions in Butch Jelley’s memory may be made to either VNA Of Vermont and New Hampshire, the Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad or the New England Stock Car Old Timers (NESCOT) through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.
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Ed Warner

Posted at 10:20am
My good friend Butch. So many good times. I will surely miss you. Ed Warner
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laura muir

Posted at 12:15pm
Jelly Family,
Sorry for your loss. May God surround you with his peace, comfort and strength today and in the days to come.
Rich and Laura Muir

Terry Messina

Posted at 06:20pm
Wayne, lisa I'm sorry to hear about Butch, I remember him so well. I'm so grateful to have had the chance to talk to him at one of the old timers get togethers at Lebanon valley, lisa that's the last time I saw you. They were defintley the good ole days. Dad (Joe) also says he's sorry to hear about Butch. If you would like to get in touch here's my email (

Just remember all the good memories and theirs lots of them!

Terry Messina and Joe Messina

Jennifer Svensson

Posted at 12:40pm
Sorry for Your loss Bev,
Paul and Butch go back a long ways.. Paul started to work on the Race Car in the early 70's .
We Have a lot of fond Memories racing with Butch.
Paul saw Butch at the Valley I think it was sometime in 2019.
They pick-up right where they left off.
Please stay in touch.
Paul and Jennifer Svensson


Jane Young Persons

Posted at 06:53pm
Jelley family, So very sorry to hear about Butch. He was always the fun guy andalways friendly when I worked for Gladys and Joann and Chuck. My sympathies to all. Jane. Young Persons

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