ABMA Mourns the Loss of Joe Kelly

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admin February 21, 2024 0 Comments

ABMA Mourns the Loss of Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly passed peacefully in the early morning of February 7th, 2024, surrounded by family and loved ones at his home in Sterling, MA.

Born in 1945 in Philadelphia to Joseph and Alice Kelly, he and his six siblings moved frequently throughout their childhood, eventually settling in central Massachusetts. Joe was a talented athlete, earning MVP honors in Grafton Little League Baseball and remaining undefeated to the present day in 2-on-2 basketball at West Boylston High School with his longtime friend Francis Dacri. He deeply loved golf, exploring courses throughout the United States and the British Isles with friends and family all through his life.

Joe graduated from Amherst College in 1967 and he took great pride and pleasure in his time there, during which he studied English literature, played baseball, and developed many lifelong friendships. He remained a steadfast supporter and contributor to the college for decades, organizing many of his class’s annual reunions.

Following his graduation from Amherst, Joe earned his M.A.T. from Columbia University and taught English in South Hadley, MA, for a year before moving to Peekskill, NY, to teach at Shrub Oak High. He returned to Massachusetts to join his father at his plastics manufacturing company in Clinton, MA, and operated the company, later renamed The Kelly Company, for nearly forty years. Joe was widely respected and beloved by his employees for his great personal interest in their lives and families. He took tremendous pride in leading a company that provided jobs for so many. He sought no greater purpose than to enable their success and livelihoods. A devoted father, he coached his children’s basketball and baseball games and championed their many artistic endeavors.

Joe had a deep, lifelong passion for language and literature, and imbued everything he did with a tireless pursuit of precision and clarity in his communications. Few pastimes gave him greater pleasure than sharing a thoughtful quotation or engaging in lively discussion while reading books by a crackling fire with his loved ones. Among friends, he was revered for his quick wit and sense of humor, always ready with a pun or quip or Shakespearean insult when circumstances arose, and duty called.

Joe is survived by his loving partner Patti Ingersoll and his three children Elizabeth Kelly of Wilmington, DE, Jean Pitaro (Jimmy) of CT, and James Kelly (Hadley) of Los Angeles, CA. He was a loving grandfather to Chloe and Phebe Heneghan, Sean and Josy Pitaro, and Hendrix Kelly. Joe leaves his sisters, Karen (Muffy) Taggart (Bob) of Needham and Margot Manning (Danny) of Weymouth, and his brothers Peter Kelly (Liz) of Wellesley and George Kelly (Tana) of Buda, TX. He was predeceased by his brothers Chris and Andrew.

A memorial service will be held at Wachusett Country Club in West Boylston on May 18th at twelve noon.

Posted online on February 15, 2024
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette