ROBERT 'BOB' KELLY, 86 ROCKFORD - Robert "Bob" Kelly, 86, of Rockford passed away Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, at Wesley Willows. He was born Dec. 10, 1925, in Evanston, son of Robert Cecil and Emily (Knight) Kelly. Graduated from Chicago Christian High School and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He married Jean Elizabeth Pilgrim on Sept. 12, 1953, at Englewood Methodist Church in Chicago; she died May 2, 2004. For 18 years, he worked at C&EI Railroad as a systems programmer and analyst, then for 22 years at Bodine Electric Company where he was manager of the payroll department. Bob came to Rockford in 1999, moving here from Chicago. Bob loved his country and enlisted at the age of 17 in the Army. He served in the 100th Infantry Division in the European Theatre in World War II, earning a Purple Heart and other awards. He was a member of American Legion, Wm Marks Post 904. He was a proud descendant of the Isle of Man and served as the honorary president of the North American Manx Association, president of the Chicago Area Manx Society and member of the Wisconsin Manx Society. In addition, he was past president of the Financial Management Association of Illinois, past president of the Winnebago and Boone Counties Genealogical Society and a Board Member of BIGWILL. Bob was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church and formerly of Edison Park UMC, a lay member of the Northern Illinois Annual UMC Conference, and United Methodist Men, earning the John Wesley Fellows Award. Survivors include nieces and nephew, Joanne (Kurt) Fischer of Plano, Texas, Rebecca (James) Antrim of Centreville, Va., Barbara Pilgrim of Appleton, Wis., and John (Carol) Pilgrim of Oconomowoc, Wis.; great-nieces and -nephew, Sarah, Katie, Stephen and Caren; great-great-niece and -nephew, Lucy and Tyler; cousin, Christine (Peter) Wallis of Isle of Man in the British Isles; many dear friends, especially those at Wesley Willows, Aldersgate UMC and the Manx Society. Also predeceased by parents; brother-in-law and his wife, Richard and Ruth Pilgrim. The family would like to thank the Wesley Willows staff for their care and concern during Bob's illness. Memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, preceded by visitation from 10 a.m. to service time at the church. Graveside service at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, in Cedar Park Cemetery, Riverdale. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested. Arrangements completed by Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Riverside chapel. Express condolences at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.
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Published in Rockford Register Star from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, 2012