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William Kelly

February 7, 1925 ~ February 5, 2018 (age 92)

Forest Hills. Queens-

William Kelly Sr. of Brooklyn, NY passed on February 5, 2018. He was born on February 7, 1925 to Michael Kelly Sr., an Irish immigrant to the U.S. and Elizabeth Warton Kelly. He was born at St Mary's Hospital in Brooklyn NY and baptized at St. Matthews also in Brooklyn NY. William's father Michael was a farm hand in Ireland and after his immigration was employed by the Brooklyn Union Gas Company installing gas pipes. His mother passed when he was young, and his father remarried to Ellen Reilly, also of Irish decent.

Being of poor health as a child, William's formal schooling was brief. This did not prevent him from being a voracious learner. Having grown up in the depression he was a frugal man and strived to teach the values of learning and thrift to his family. One of his greatest pleasures was his life-long reading of the New York Times, which he read daily. He met his wife Frances Carroll at the church choir. They had four children, Elizabeth, Rosemary, William Jr. and James. They were also blessed with three grandchildren, Brianna Kelly, David Halvorsen, and Michael Halvorsen.

William was preceded in death by his wife, Frances Carroll Kelly, his sister Elizabeth Kelly and his brother Thomas Kelly. William was extremely proud of Thomas, who was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in WWII. Thomas Kelly was honored for carrying wounded soldiers across battled lines.

A devoted family man and husband, William was dedicated to his wife Frances during her long battle with cancer. Together with their son William Kelly Jr., they fulfilled her life long dream of restoring a lock-keeper's cottage in Ireland.

William was a salesman for the Rawlplug Company for forty years. He was very active in the Fourteen Holy Martyrs Church in Brooklyn, NY where he taught band and was instrumental in setting up the drum and bugle corps. As a young man growing up during the depression, there was not much in the way of toys and games. One day he picked up a stick and taught himself to twirl. He became quite accomplished at it. William remained active in music, singing with old friends in a group they titled the Romeos. The group faded as members passed on.

All who knew William were blessed to have known him and he will remain in their hearts forever. William is survived by his children, Elizabeth, Rosemary, William Jr. and James, his grandchildren, Brianna Kelly, David Halvorsen and Michael Halvorsen.

A Service to Celebrate the Life of William will be held on Friday at 1:30pm at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia with the Rev. Ralph Darmstadt as celebrant. Burial in the family plot at the St. Francis de Sales Cemetery Rt. 28 Allaben. Friends will be received on Friday from 11:30am to 1:30 pm prior to the service. You may share a special memory or condolence with the family on William's Memorial Page at www.gormleyfuneralhome.com

  • Visitation

    Friday, February 09
    11:30 AM to 1:30 PM

    E. B. Gormley Funeral Home

    87 Main Street
    Phoenicia, NY
    845.688.5500

  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, February 09
    1:30 PM

    E. B. Gormley Funeral Home

    87 Main Street
    Phoenicia, NY
    845.688.5500

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