William H. Kelly|
William H. Kelly, age 95, passed away peacefully on September 27, 2013 at home surrounded by his family.
He was born on January 14, 1918 in Perry, New York, to the late William and Grace (Smith) Kelly. Mr. Kelly was a member of Granger United Methodist Church and proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He met Ruth Willey, the love of his life, to whom he was married 68 years. Their early life was spent on military bases, after which they settled in Granger Twp., started their family, and lived there for the rest of their lives. His family was always the center of his life.
Mr. Kelly, Chairman of the Board of Bil-Jac Foods, founded the company along with his brother, Jack, in 1947. Bil-Jac products are now available worldwide and the company is one of the largest privately held pet food manufacturers in the world. Bil-Jac Foods has production facilities in Medina Ohio and Berlin, Md. Mr. Kelly served for over 35 years as a Board Member of Medina General Hospital and was a former Board Member of The Old Phoenix National Bank. He served 12 years on Highland Local Schools Board of Education (six years as president). He was a founding Board Member of the Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence, the founder of the Medina General Hospital Foundation, and established the Granger United Methodist Church Endowment Fund. Mr. Kelly and his wife, Ruth have established and support five high school scholarship programs and one college scholarship program. He received the Hiram College Alumni Achievement Award and is a member of the Hiram College Garfield Society. Mr. Kelly was a founding Board Member of the Pet Food Institute (PFI) in Washington, D.C. He was also honored by being elected to The Greater Medina County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame and was the recipient of The Jewel of Our Communities Award from Leave A Legacy of Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties.
Mr. Kelly is survived by his sons, Robert W. (Becky) Kelly, Raymond C. (Julie) Kelly and James C. (Gail) Kelly, all of Granger; grandchildren, Drew (Tiffany) Miller, Michael Kelly, Erin Kelly, Jennifer (Pete) Klatka, Elizabeth (Nick) Nolan, Kati (Steve) Stephenson and Ben Kelly; great-grandchildren, Chloe, Izzi, Abby, Lucy, Ethan and Emersen; nieces and nephews, Rick Goodwin, Ralph Goodwin, Jr., Patrick Kelly, Candy Kelly, Doris (Alvin) Clapp and Lois (Hal) Bates.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ruth in November of 2012; his brother, Jack Kelly; and his sister, Genevieve Goodwin.
Funeral service, 11 a.m., Friday, October 4, 2013 at Granger United Methodist Church, 1235 Granger Road, Medina. Pastor Doug Lewis will officiate followed by burial with military honors at Granger-Fairview Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday, from 2 to 8 p.m. at Waite & Son Funeral Home, 765 N. Court St., Medina 44256. Memorial contributions may be made to Granger United Methodist Church, 1235 Granger Road, Medina, Ohio 44256 or Hospice of Summa, 444 N. Main Street, Akron, Ohio 44310.
Online condolences at www.waitefuneralhome.com.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2013