John F. Kelly

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John F. "Jack" Kelly, 71, of Dunmore, died peacefully on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at Hospice Community Care in Dunmore following unexpected complications from recent surgery. Jack is survived by his wife of 43 years, Dorothy Durkin Kelly, of Dunmore.

Born September 12, 1940, in Carbondale, the son of the late Rose (Daniels) Kelly Wilkins and the late Thomas Kelly, and stepson of Thomas Wilkins "Papa Tom." Jack was a 1959 graduate of St. Rose High School, Carbondale. He served 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, with tours of duty that included Vietnam and Japan. He was fluent in Japanese, and while serving in Japan, he worked as a translator for the courts.

Also surviving are three children-Kathleen Kelly Halverson and husband Jeffrey Olney, MD; Ann Marie Trauger and husband Brent, Dunmore; and Stephen Kelly and wife Kyla, Sparta, NJ; a sister Judy Heenan of Carbondale; a brother James Kelly of Carbondale and Thomas "Pete" Kelly of Falls; five grandchildren Jessica, Anna, Ava, Matthew, and Jack; and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.

While working full time and raising a family of 3 children with his wife Dorothy, Jack took night classes and worked hard to earn an A.S. degree from Luzerne County Community College in 1976. He went on to earn a B.S. degree from Wilkes College in 1985. Jack spent his career in purchasing management with various companies in PA and NJ; a Certified Purchasing Manager, he was a member of the NEPA chapter of the National Association of Purchasing Management, where he served as president for 1 term. During the last 10 years of his career, he proudly worked as a Lackwanna County Community Corrections officer. Jack was a parishioner of All Saints Church, Dunmore, and presently with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Dunmore. Over the years, Jack and his family were active in the parish community. Many close, long-term family friendships were forged-friendships that remain strong to this day. Jack's biggest source of pride was his five grandchildren. They brought laughter to his heart and joy to his life every single day. He and his grandchildren loved telling each other knock-knock jokes. During the past few years, the entire Kelly family went on vacations that included Bethany Beach, DE, and Lake Naomi in the Pocono Mountains. Jack so loved those relaxing summer days, watching his precious grandchildren playing in the ocean and swimming in the lake. His family holds fondly to those memories, cherishing them always. Jack had many hobbies, mostly sports related. He loved a good game of golf and often took his children, nieces, and nephews fishing when they were young. He also loved to hunt. His favorite sports teams included the PSU Nittany Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. Jack was a member of the VFW, Dunmore; the Fraternal Order of Police (PA State Lodge); and the Tauras Club, Scranton. He was well-known for his sense of humor, and he loved telling jokes. He forged endless friendships over the years and touched so many friends' lives. He spoke often, and with great admiration, of these friends. They were an important part of his life.

Jack's family mourns his passing and will miss him so, so much. His personality was larger than life, which makes his absence all the more palpable in death. But the spirit of our beloved Jack Kelly remains always. His loved ones will forever remember the loving husband, the dedicated, hardworking dad, the funny grandpa, the true friend, the loving brother, the devoted son, and the fun-loving uncle and cousin that he was. His feisty spirit lives on in the hearts and souls of those who love him. May he rest in God's peace forever.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Dunmore, at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 7, 2011. Interment: Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton. Friends may call Sunday from 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the Albert P. O'Donnell Funeral Home, 2025 Green Ridge Street, Dunmore. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center, Veterans Memorial Project, 401 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503, or Hospice Community Care, 100 William Street, Dunmore, PA 18510.
Published in Scranton Times on Nov. 5, 2011
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