In his 80 years of life, Khaled “Kelly” Habayeb has never been short on life lessons to teach his children and grandchildren.
However, that is just a small fraction of who he is. On top of being someone who teaches life lessons to his family, Kelly is someone who is quite frankly a true family man who would do anything and everything for them.
Kelly is a loving and devoted husband, as well as an amazing father to his three children and an extraordinary grandfather to his five grandchildren. They all know he will be there for them no matter what, and being able to rely upon him at all times is something they cherish and appreciate about him.
“Without him I’m not sure where we would have ended up,” his son Christopher said. “He was always a solid rock figure growing up. While we have certainly had our differences, the love he has for his grandchildren overshadows the speed bumps we have had in the past.”
Christopher is grateful for all the memories and special moments with his father, as well as all the ebbs and flows they have gone through. Knowing that his father is always there for his siblings and his children, as well as his mother, is all that matters to Christopher.
“45 years of respect, commitment and trust with an occasional ‘disagreement’ is what our marriage has looked like,” Kelly’s wife Linda said. “Having similar morals and values and allowing me to be my own person has contributed to the longevity of our relationship. Kelly loves his family and is supportive of each individual – a true attribute!”
It cannot be reiterated enough how much family takes precedence in Kelly’s life, as family is what makes him the amazing man he is today. He migrated from Palestine many years ago in order to create a brighter future for the family he wanted to have, and that was one of the best decisions he ever made.
“I love and respect my father,” Kelly’s son Omar said. “I appreciate him. I thank God for him and am thankful that he made the trip to come to this country. If he had not decided to leave his homeland at an early age and make his way to the United States, I would not exist. He is a very generous and honest man. I am blessed that my daughter Abigail has gotten a chance to know him.”
He is not just a family man who took a risk in coming to the US either, as Kelly is someone who is constantly there for other people. He wants what is best for others at all times, and he is always willing to do whatever it takes to help people out.
He has such a selfless manner, and there is no question he is appreciated for all he does.
“My father likes to help people quietly,” Omar said. “He makes donations to a lot of groups and individuals anonymously. He does not seek glory or praise. He does this because we are called to serve folks less fortunate than ourselves.”
Kelly gives to others without asking for anything in return because of the goodness in his heart. He has an appreciation for where he came from and he knows what it was like growing up, and he does not want to see anyone else go through the same thing.
He is also a friend to many, as everyone who knows him is glad they do.
“He’s invested in his friendships,” Kelly’s granddaughter Abigail said.
Seeing how much Kelly cherishes friendships is something that his grandchildren obviously notice and learn from, but that is not the only thing he teaches them. They all have learned many valuable lessons from Kelly, and they love when their grandfather teaches them things.
“I like that he stresses the importance of education to his grandchildren,” Kelly’s daughter-in-law Robin said.
“I’ve learned that education is the best investment you can make in yourself from Kelly,” his granddaughter Paige added.
Schooling and education are important, and when your grandfather is telling you this, you better listen.
Kelly has also taught his grandchildren the importance and value of self-worth, and this is a lesson they take with them wherever they go.
“He’s taught me to have high expectations for myself and how to work hard to become successful,” his granddaughter Kennedy said. “Success isn’t guaranteed or given to you, it is a result of hard work, sweat and tears, which he has exemplified throughout his life and passed on to others.”
“He has taught me so many things such as how a strong work ethic and discipline can take you a long way,” his grandson Nathan added. “He has also taught me how important it is to treat everyone you meet fairly and with kindness.”
Finding worth in yourself and treating others the way you want to be treated are valuable life lessons in and of themselves, but when they are taught by Kelly, there is something extra special about them that makes them stick.
Kelly has also shown his grandchildren how to love, as he has always exemplified that by loving them endlessly. He supports them and cares about them so much, and him being himself is everything to them.
“Grandpa Kelly means so much to me,” his granddaughter Julia said. “He’s always been there to support me through everything and I always feel so encouraged every time I see him. His smile brightens my day immediately and his hugs are AMAZING. I am so so grateful to have such an amazing grandfather and person in my life.”
Talk about an amazing person. Kelly has so much love to go around, and him walking into a room changes the tone and the mood in the best way possible.
Kelly is also someone who is very fond of his culture, and this is something that he wants to pass off onto his family. He loves making food from the Middle East, and he loves showing his family how to do the same.
“He has taught me how to make hummus and his roasted almonds,” Kelly’s daughter-in-law Carrie said. “I’ve gained a greater understanding of the Middle East from Kelly.”
You should be proud of where you come from and appreciate all you’ve gone through to get to where you are, and that is exactly what Kelly does on a daily basis. He is more than happy to remind his family that where you came from is as important as where you are going.
“He is wonderful and laughing at himself,” his daughter Stephanie said. “Whether he’s mispronounced something or misspelled something or just isn’t understanding a situation, I can just picture him raising his hands in the air and saying, ‘What do you expect’ with a smile on his face. I love his humility in that way. It always makes me smile.”
“More than anything, Kelly has taught me to always look at a situation from all sides, whether it’s politics or business,” his son-in-law David added. “He is incredibly well read and his views are always insightful. He listens patiently and is open to other perspectives.”
Kelly is just a humble, appreciative, joyful family man who is optimistic about life. He always sees the positive in any situation, and he is glad to pass off this mindset to his children and grandchildren.
At 80-years-old he is still the same man he has always been, and his family is thankful for this.
“I want my father to know that he is loved and appreciated, and he has been an incredible father and has provided well for his entire family – both primary AND extended.” – Omar