John Joseph Kelly

As he was often heard to say, “Life goes on, in unending song, amongst earth’s lamentations”.  John Joseph Kelly, 83, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on October 23, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Frances (nee Carr), his children, Mary, Patrick, Jim and Kathleen, his siblings, Mary Donlan (Thomas), James Kelly (Mary), Patricia Arbogast and Joanne Court and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

During the years he shared with us, John left no stone unturned. From airman to engineer, astronomy to physics, canoe racing to bike riding, Alaska to Australia, Pogo to Lawrence Welk, Panera Bread to Two Brothers Brewery, Johnny Joe’s zest for life was boundless.

He was a PC pioneer, an avid archivist and an enthusiastic fan of Fermilab. A son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, cousin and a friend, he touched us all with his legendary wit and charm.

An avowed animal lover, John was rarely seen without his beloved Cocker Spaniels, Midnight, and later, Geronimo. He enjoyed all of God’s creatures, large and small, and “rescued” many in his lifetime.

Countless memories of John sustain us, as we mourn the sudden loss of this kind, loving and thoughtful man. May perpetual light shine upon him.

“Who is Stacia Dollard?”

John’s life will be celebrated on Saturday, November 1, 2014, starting at 5:00pm, at Weaver Ridge Golf Club , 5100 N. Weaver Ridge Blvd., Peoria, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to PAWS Chicago  or Wildlife SOS .

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Condolence Messages

  1. What can I say but he was a wonderful guy. He will be dearly missed. I didn’t see him often but he was always in my mind and heart. I will always remember him coming over to moms when I was little and I would run and hide under the bed because he always threw me up into the air and scared me half to death. I received many funny letters from him when I was younger. I will always be known as “stinky toes” because of him. I will forever cherish his letters and my memories.

  2. A really great guy.

  3. The list should include poet. His poetry hangs on Uncle Jims wall- an ode to another crushing loss in the canoe race.
    I will always cherish the first bike trip across Wisconsin,the Canoe Race (only tipped once) , all the encouragement needed to get me through my engineering degree and the stories of growing up on the south side that we all have heard a hundred times. Most of all I will miss the laughter, smiles and bear hugs.

  4. Nelly Kelly Condon

    He was the one who got me connected with all the Kelly’s in America, and what a gift that was. It’s a long story of how it all happened, but I will always be greatful to John for that. My sincere sympathy to all the Family

  5. Mary,
    I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. Reading his obituary he lived a very full life with his family, friends, work and many interests. I am sure you have many great memories that you will treasure. My sympathy to you and your family.

  6. Mary,
    I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. Reading his obituary he lived a very full life with his family, friends, work and many interests. I am sure you have many great memories that you will treasure. My sympathy to you and your family.

  7. Francis Babinski

    I was in USAF with John in Las Vegas. I still remember the picture of his sweetheart, a nurse, on the window sill by his bunk.
    I wish to send my sympathy to your mom and all of John’s family.

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