Mystic - William J. Kelly, 78, of Mystic, husband of 51 years, to Attorney Carolyn (Phillips) Kelly, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at Yale-New Haven Hospital, after a lengthy illness.
Born in Everett, Mass., he was the son of the late William and Marjorie (Breglio) Kelly and lived in Mystic for over 35 years.
Bill grew up in Springfield, Mass. where he attended Classical High School. As a student at Brown University, he majored in English and sang tenor in the "Jabberwocks", the university's a cappella octet. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Air Force and became an editor/writer for Prentice Hall in New York City. Further education included a master's degree from New York University and a Ph.D from University of Oregon which led to teaching positions in the English departments of Danbury State College and The University of Connecticut at Avery Point.
Writing was always a passion. Following his teaching career, he focused on creative writing while holding positions at "The Compass" newspaper, the Development Department at Connecticut College and finally becoming the editor/writer for "Undercurrents", the educational publication of Mystic Aquarium.
After his retirement, Bill continued to pursue creative endeavors, writing humorous short pieces including, "Farewell Slumgullion, Tri-motor, Hickey and Dun" lamenting the fate of underused and underappreciated words. He also published a novel, "The Basilisk Solution" which follows the misadventures of Roscoe and Benny, two retired New York City detectives, who through inept astral travel find themselves in heaven where their services are needed. At the time of his death, he was finishing its sequel, "The Bulgarian Assassin".
In addition to his wife, he leaves two children, Christopher Kelly of Los Angeles, Calif, and his wife, Maria Saganis, and Dr. Katherine Kelly Perkins and her husband, Paul, of Franklin, Mass. and their twin baby daughters, Siena Sage and Addison Lynn. Also surviving are his sister, Barbara (Kelly) Cole of Harwich Port, Mass.; and special nieces, Kristin Cole Sposato, Amy Cole and Lisa Cole Waszkelewicz.
Bill had a long illness and received loving care from the nurses at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital Intensive Care Unit and the Wound Center, the Visiting Nurses Association of Ledyard, Apple Rehabilitation in Mystic and the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mystic & Noank Library by check or donation online at mysticnoanklibrary.org, 40 Library St., Mystic, CT 06355
Family and friends are invited to join in a celebration of Bill's life from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014, at Mystic Yachting Center, 100 Essex St., Mystic.
Published in The Day on Feb. 28, 2014