W.J. Eugene "Gene" Kelsey
AGE: 87 • Howell
W. J. Eugene ("Gene") Kelsey was called home to God on September 19, 2013. Gene was born October 3, 1925. He was an artist, writer, advocate, patriot, loving father, devoted husband, son and sibling.
Gene was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps
, serving in the South Pacific in World War II
and state-side during the Korean war
. After his military service, he remained committed to his fellow Marines, working tirelessly to help a WWII-wounded Marine receive the country's highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor
. For his actions, Gene was honored in 1982 as the New Jersey Marine of the Year.
In 1954 he met and married the love of his life, Dorothea Cerrato. They celebrated 59 years together in May. Gene owned and operated "The Coffee Shoppe on the Square" in Freehold. He served his hometown as Councilman and Police Commissioner and was a former President of the Freehold Downtown Business and Professional Association. Gene was a member of the Corporal Philip A. Reynolds Marine Corps League detachment, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, and the Disabled American Veterans. He was a communicant of St. Rose of Lima Church. His frequent opinion pieces appeared regularly for many years in the Asbury Park Press.
With his passing, Gene is reunited with his mother and father, Mary and James and seven siblings (Mary, James, Raymond, Frank, William, Elizabeth, Yvonne). He leaves behind four sisters (Lorraine Buble, Dorothy Higley, Joan Kelsey, Margaret Higley), one brother (Robert Kelsey) and many nieces and nephews and their respective loved ones. He is survived by his loving wife, confidant and lifelong friend, Dorothea Kelsey, seven children: Patricia, John, Timothy, Denis (Lorraine MacStudy), Jeanne (Jeff Flegler), Daniel (Marlene Zabatta ), and Richard (Jill Braun), ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In addition to countless acquaintances, his memory will be especially cherished by Patricia and Timothy's dearest and longtime friends Rocco Magistrelli and Carol Kasyan.
Family and friends are invited to visit on Monday, September 23, from 4 to 8 PM, at Freeman Funeral Home, 47 East Main Street, Freehold. A Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated on Tuesday at 10AM at St. Rose of Lima Church, Freehold. Interment will follow at the parish cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation be made to either the Corporal Phillip A. Reynolds Detachment, 50 Waterworks Road, Freehold NJ 07728 or the Visiting Nurse Association HG - Hospice, c/o Foundation Office, 176 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701.