William Augustus "Bill" Kelly passed away Friday, July 11, 2014, at his home in Rome, GA. He lived in Elberton, GA from 1951 through 2010 and moved to Rome in 2010, residing at Renaissance Marquis Retirement Center.
Born in Athens on February 3, 1926, Bill was the son of the late Dr. George Washington Kelly, Sr. and Annie Sue Griffin Kelly of Carlton, GA. He was married for sixty-seven years to Frances Harris Kelly, who survives him. He is also survived by two daughters and their husbands, Janet Kelly Wiley and Hayden of Elberton, and Fran Kelly Preiss and Lindsay of Rome, and two grandsons and their wives, LCDR William Hayden Wiley and Cathy of Arlington, VA, and Walter Harris Wiley and Shea of Duluth, GA; and three great-grandchildren: Grace Elizabeth Wiley and Claire Madelyn Wiley of Arlington, VA, and Noah Fisher Wiley of Duluth, GA. His sister, Mary Kelly Derby of Beavercreek, Ohio, five nephews, and two nieces also survive. In addition to his parents, Bill was predeceased by his brothers George W. Kelly, Jr. and Wade H. Kelly, Sr., and half-brother Sam H. Kelly.
Bill grew up in Carlton, GA and graduated from Elberton High School in 1942. He attended Emory University from 1942 -1944, was drafted and served in the U. S. Army during World War II and with the U. S. Occupation Forces in Japan for several years following the war. Bill married Frances Harris, his high school sweetheart, on September 24, 1947. Following his service in Japan, he returned to the States and entered the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he completed a B. S. degree in Political Science in 1950 and Master of Arts degree in Public Administration in 1951.
Bill and Frances moved to Elberton, GA in 1951, where he went to work as a Power Specialist for the U. S. Department of Interior, Southeastern Power Administration.
Bill Kelly served as Chief Executive Officer of the Elberton Granite Association from 1954 through 1991, and remained with EGA as a consultant for 10 additional years. Under his leadership, EGA expanded in membership and national prominence. Bill and Frances represented Elberton at hundreds of Memorial Industry conventions, always effectively promoting Elberton as the "Granite Capital of the World."
Bill became well known in the Association Management field at both state and national levels, and earned the professional designation of Certified Association Executive in 1972. He served as President of the Georgia Society of Association Executives, and he received the 1982 Cliff Clarke Award as Outstanding Association Executive in Georgia. Bill served on the Board of Directors of the 20,000 member American Society of Association Executives, and received ASAE'S "Key Award" in 1982, the highest national honor attainable for an association executive.
Bill Kelly also volunteered his time and talents in a variety of civic and community projects, working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for all Elbert Countians. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of Elberton for fifty years and was named a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
He spearheaded construction of the Elberton Civic Center, served as a member of the Elberton-Elbert County Hospital Authority for nine years, and was president of the Elberton Country Club for three years.
Bill was recognized by the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce as 1967 Booster of the Year; Distinguished Service Award 1976-77; 1982 Achievement Award; and Elbert County Ambassador Award in 2002.
Bill was a member of Elberton First United Methodist Church where he had served as a member of the church's Administrative Board and as pianist for the Manning Coed Sunday School Class for many years.
Memorial services honoring the life of Bill Kelly will be held Sunday, July 27, 2014, at 3 p.m. at the Elberton First United Methodist Church. A time of visitation with the family will be held in the church Fellowship Hall immediately following the Memorial Service. A private entombment will be held at the family mausoleum in Elberton's Elmhurst Cemetery.
The family suggests that memorial gifts be made to The Kelly Endowment of Elbert Memorial Hospital Foundation, 4 Medical Drive, Elberton, GA 30635; or to the donor's favorite charity.
Daniel's Funeral Home of Rome and Hicks Funeral Home of Elberton are in charge of arrangements for William A. "Bill" Kelly.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on July 15, 2014