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Dr. Don Kelley


1945 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Dr.  Don Kelley Obituary
Dr. Don Quinn Kelley

1945 - 2016 Dr. Don Quinn Kelley, 70, of Hancock, MA and New York City, NY, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Springfield, Massachusetts, surrounded by his wife, daughter, and close family. He was born in Chicago, IL on September 28, 1945, son of John Quincy Adams Kelley and Jeannette (Fay) Kelley. He graduated from St. Mel High School where he played the clarinet and Loyola University in Chicago. On September 4, 1965, he married Carol Long in Chicago, IL., and subsequently became a father to Marc, David, and Nambi. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1974 where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Educational Leadership and did field work with anthropologist Margaret Mead, and research/filmmaking for psychologist Kenneth B. Clark. On August 26, 1990, also the anniversary of his parent's wedding anniversary, he married Sandra L. Burton in Williamstown, Massachusetts. A historian and filmmaker, Dr. Don Quinn Kelley was a partner in ThinkLarge.org, an organization that implements and supports video and film projects of social relevance. He was also the co-chair of Lift Ev'ry Voice, a festival celebrating African American culture and history in the Berkshires, and Professor Emeritus at City University of New York (CUNY), where he was a founding faculty member of Medgar Evers College. At CUNY, he chaired a Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, directed a Digital Media Center and Evers' history program, created museum partnerships and received national recognition for course syllabi in both American history and Teacher Education. Dr. Kelley was also on the faculty of the graduate Media Studies program at the New School in New York City. As a documentarian, his projects have been screened across the United States, in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Other activities have included human rights and sustainable development projects in the United States, Central America and Africa. He was a Trustee of the Samuel Harrison House Museum, was recognized in 2015 by Berkshire Magazine as one of 25 Berkshire residents who are shaping a better community, and in March 2016 was awarded The Berkshire Award by the Berkshire Museum, honoringpeople who live in the greater Berkshires and who have made significant contribution to creating, keeping, or promoting artistic, historical, and natural heritage in the Berkshires. Don loved music, dancing, gardening, cooking, telling jokes, and living life fearlessly. He was passionate about social justice, history, film, loving his family, and traveling the world. Survivors include his wife, Sandra L. Burton-Kelley; one daughter- Nambi E. Kelley of New York, NY; and two sons-Marc E. Kelley and David Kelley, both of Chicago, IL. He also leaves two grandchildren Kaia and Xavier; two brothers including his twin- Jon Roderick Kelley of Chicago, IL and Alex F. Kelley of Carson, CA; two sisters including Edna Smith of Chicago, IL and Gloria Boyd of Moreno Valley, CA; nieces, nephews, cousins, and many close friends and colleagues around the world. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Quincy Adams Kelley, Jeannette (Fay) Kelley, and former spouse, Carol (Long) Kelley. FUNERAL NOTICE: Celebrations of Life for Don Quinn Kelley are being planned for a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival; The Mount; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, or Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare Center in care of FLYNN & DAGNOLI-MONTAGNA HOME FOR FUNERALS CENTRAL CHAPEL, 74 Marshall St. North Adams, MA 01247. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on July 30, 2016
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