Mr. Long Beach Island
If you lived on Long Beach Island in New Jersey, you knew William H. Kelly Jr. Although Mr. Kelly grew up in Bucks County, Pa., his family spent summers on the island, where he was able to indulge his passion for the water, learning to sail and surf. "My friends would joke around; they used to call him 'Mr. L.B.I.,' " said his girlfriend of three years, Sue Magee, an employee of Bloomberg L.P., where Mr. Kelly also worked.
In fact, even if you did not live on Long Beach Island, you may have known Mr. Kelly, or the type of person he was. "He wasn't a loud, life-of-the-party kind of guy, but he always sought out the person in any situation who wasn't comfortable, and made them feel welcome," said his sister Colleen Kelly. Mr. Kelly, 30, who lived in Stuyvesant Town, was a favorite uncle to his many nieces and nephews. Once, instead of giving them all individual Christmas gifts, he rented an ice rink for an afternoon, and invited his whole family.
After Sept. 11, his mother, JoAnne Kelly, was surprised to receive an envelope full of a 4-year-old Billy's dark curls, from an early trip to the barber. She had given the envelope to a beloved neighbor, whom Mr. Kelly had nicknamed Pal, as a joke, and Pal had saved it for 26 years. Now Mrs. Kelly has something of her son left to treasure.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 24, 2001.