Kelly, Edward M.
Edward M. Kelly, retired Army Sergeant Major, departed to his last duty station on 24 January 2014 at the age of 78. Erstwhile resident of Lansing, New York, Edward spent the better part of the last three years travelling between the United States, Ireland, England, and Germany. He passed away in Heidelberg, Germany and has been interred in Hockenheim, Germany. A celebration of his life was held there on 31 January 2014 attended by family, friends, and military honor guards.
Edward was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1935, 8th of 11 children. As a young man, Edward served in the Irish Navy but soon followed his dreams across the sea to the United States and in 1957 joined the US Army where he spent more than thirty years in proud service to his adopted country. During his military career, Edward was a combat engineer and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. At the time of his retirement in Worms, Germany in 1988, Edward had been a Career Counselor, mentoring and guiding young soldiers. After retirement, he continued to support his fellow troops as a civil service counselor in Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany. He retired from the civil service in 2000 at which point he moved back to the United States and took up residence in Lansing, New York.
Early in his military career, Edward was blessed to meet his wife Waltraud, a native of Stuttgart, Germany. Together, the two travelled the world, raised four children, and shared in many adventures. In recent years, Edward dedicated himself to providing care for his wife until her death in 2010. Edward is survived by his daughters Colleen Kelly-Gaa (Heinrich) of Hockenheim, Germany and Angela Zhe (Jack) of Freeville, New York, his son Michael Kelly (Kim) of Rye, New Hampshire, as well as seven grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Edward was also preceded in death by his daughter Jacqueline Kelly formerly of Groton, New York.
Those who knew him, remember Edward for his easy smile, well-tuned cheerful whistle, and his seemingly bottomless appetite for good food and fun. He was a dedicated soldier and an awesome grandfather as well as an avid gardener who never let his own roots sink too deep. Ultimately, he will be remembered as a servant devoted to others and guided by his oft recited advice "Worry about nothing, pray about everything" taken from Philippians 4:6.
Edward's family wishes to thank everyone who offered him shelter, food, and good company making his itinerant lifestyle of recent years possible.
Published in Ithaca Journal on Feb. 22, 2014