Rev. John L. Kelly
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The Reverend John L. Kelly, age 92, of Towson, Maryland died peacefully on Easter Sunday morning, April 4, 2021 at Stella Maris, Timonium, Maryland.

Father Kelly was born and raised in Baltimore, son of the late John L. and Ruth (Costello) Kelly. Father Kelly grew up in the shadow of Memorial Stadium with his three brothers. He attended St Bernard's grade school, serving as an altar boy and a member of the Fife and Drum Corps, Loyola High School, St Charles College, and St Mary's Seminary in Roland Park. Father was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Francis P. Keough on May 29, 1954 at the Basilica of the Assumption, Baltimore.

Father Kelly served at St Bernard's in Baltimore, 1954-1961; Blessed Sacrament, Baltimore, 1961-1967; Holy Trinity Parish, Glen Burnie, 1967-1973; and was the Pastor of the Church of Good Shepard, Glen Burnie, 1973-2008.

Father Kelly was a devoted priest and a man of deep faith. His years of selfless work in the many communities he served greatly impacted hundreds of his parishioners, colleagues, fellow priests, and family. He emulated Christ by demonstrating remarkable empathy and a gentle manner. A faithful servant of God for over six decades, he set an example of integrity, duty, and service. He was a fervent shepherd to his flock, a loving son, a loyal brother, and a sage uncle.

Father Kelly is survived by his brothers William C. Kelly, Westminster, and Dr. Edward M. Kelly, Taneytown; thirteen nieces and nephews, and thirty-three grand nieces and nephews, many of whom were baptized and married by him. He was predeceased by his oldest brother Thomas F. Kelly and his sister in law Patricia B. Kelly.

Funeral service and interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kathleen Kelly Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Notre Dame Preparatory School, 815 Hampton Lane, Towson, Maryland. Arrangements have been entrusted to Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc.

Vita mutatur, non tollitur.

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Published in Baltimore Sun on Apr. 7, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
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18 entries
April 12, 2021
Father Kelly officiating at Parker nuptial mass in 1984.
Rest In Peace Father Kelly!
Kate Parker
Friend
April 11, 2021
Father Kelly was a very special priest. As a priest he shepherded his flock with care, grace and authority. For many years we were blessed to have him as our pastor at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd was a beautiful community church my mom, Germaine, who did not drive was able to walk to daily mass....untold blessings for our family. He was always there when we needed him. Father Kelly was a true shepherd and it's sad that Good Shepherd parish did not survive him. There are so many wonderful memories. He instructed my husband in Catholicism, Jim received baptism, communion and confirmation from him, adding another sheep to the fold. He celebrated our nuptial mass back in 1984 (see picture). I know he will continue to pray and guide his flock from heaven.
May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs receive you at your arrival
and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem.
May choirs of angels receive you
and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.”
Kate Parker
Friend
April 11, 2021
Father Kelly was a very special priest. As a priest he shepherded his flock with care, grace and authority. For many years we were blessed to have him as our pastor at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd was a beautiful community church my mom, Germaine, who did not drive was able to walk to daily mass....untold blessings for our family. Father Kelly was a true Good Shepherd and it's sad that Good Shepherd parish did not survive him. There are so many wonderful memories. He instructed my husband in Catholicism, Jim received baptism, communion and confirmation from him, adding another sheep to the fold. He celebrated our nuptial mass back in 1984 (see picture). I know he will continue to pray and guide his flock from heaven.
May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs receive you at your arrival
and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem.
May choirs of angels receive you
and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.”
Kate Parker
Friend
April 10, 2021
I remember Fr. Kelly from my school days at St. Bernard's. He was very kind and caring to all the parishioners. Rest in Peace, Fr. Kelly.
Jeannette Einolf Carnevale
Jeannette Carnevale
Acquaintance
April 9, 2021
Thank you for your years of service at Bl Sacrament, Rest In Peace.
Veronica
Friend
April 9, 2021
I grew up in Holy Trinity Parish and was part of area "B" that became Good Shephard. Father Kelly was on of the great influences in my life. He was a gentle and kind spoken man and a great Priest. God's blessings and peace be upon him. Much love and respect.
Gregory Manuel
Friend
April 9, 2021
Father John Kelly was my childhood priest at Church of the Good Shepherd, in Glen Burnie. I cannot think of a holiday, time of year or any celebration that did not include Father Kelly. When I be came a teenager, Father Kelly recruited me to cook the evening meal for him and other priest. I never complained as most teenagers do when it came to my turn to cook, because Father Kelly was so dear to me and my family. As I got older, my health became poor, and Father Kelly came to visit me in the hospital. He also baptized my beautiful daughter. I wish Father Kelly’s family peace in knowing John Kelly touched so many lives. I will always remember Father Kelly with reverence and love.
Rebecca Galica
Friend
April 8, 2021
Fr. Kelly was my favorite Jesuit. I knew him at Blessed Sacrament and while I attended IND and Towson University. We had lunch about ten years ago when I lived in Lutherville. Rest with God, now that you have served him well. You will be missed.
Kathy
Student
April 8, 2021
Father Kelly coached the girls softball team for Blessed Sacrament. I was on that team. Great man
Paulette Courson
Acquaintance
April 7, 2021
I remember as a teenager working in the rectory of Holy Trinity in Glen Burnie answering phone or knock on door plus Mass cards etc. Fr. Kelly was so pleasant and appreciative of the help provided by me and my other siblings!! Maribeth (Cohee) Cortina❤❤
Maribeth Cortina
Friend
April 7, 2021
Fr. Kelly came to Blessed Sacrament while I was a student in the school. He initiated many out reach activities while there. He had the idea that the eighth grade girls should put on a musical play. He thought I should play the piano for this endevor. I had different thoughts on the matter and told him no. My mother felt that I had to do this so I told her I would if she got involved as well. Fr. Kelly welcomed her help and asked Mrs. Plunket to help out as well. This began a tradtion of eigth grade plays that lasted several years with this trio. He must have known everybody in Baltimore because whatever was needed for the plays magically appeared. Fr. Kelly also found an organist to organize a choir for the parish. He brought new energy to the parish. In time we both moved on to other parishes but our paths crossed many times over the years. He will be missed.
Mailene Kelly
Friend
April 7, 2021
My brother Fr. Tom Baumgartner, when newly ordained. was with Fr. Jack Kelly at Blessed Sacrament as an associate. He was a friend and helpful to Tom there and over the years. We visited him at Stella Maris occasionally, and they were happy to meet up with each other. May Jack rest in peace!
Peggy Baumgartner
Friend
April 7, 2021
Father Kelly had a profound influence on the lives of multiple generations of my family. We grew up knowing him well. His pastoral care and sense of humor (and the opportunity given to us all to visit the little lambs on site at the parish) were the stuff of legend. Thank you, Father, for your gift of sharing your priesthood with us all. You will be missed and you will always be loved. May you rest in the Arms of Christ.
Jennifer Gross
April 7, 2021
My brother and I were young altar boys in the St. Bernard parish. We served many 6:30 masses under Father Kelly. He will be remembered as a kind and good priest. He was a model for any young man to serve God to the best of his ability. Rest in peace, Father Kelly, and enjoy eternal life with your loved ones.
Stephen Barnaba
Friend
April 6, 2021
As a parishioner of Good Shepherd Church in Glen Burnie Father Kelly had a huge impact on my life. I often think of him and always wanted to be able to tell him all he did for me. I hope he now knows.
Jeanne Mattis
Friend
April 6, 2021
I grew up with father Kelly within the Good Shepherd family. I was an alter boy for years and left to attend college never to really return. I am thankful for the many fond memories and the stewardship father Kelly provided. You will be missed, remembered and always appreciated for your selfless care and compassion. Rest in piece.
David Tripp
Friend
April 6, 2021
I served as a CCD Coordinator under Father Kelly. He was a joy to work with and a devoted Priest. He made home visits, hospital visits and did whatever was needed to meet the needs of all those he served. We helped build the Church of the Good Shepherd and were delighted to see him look over his flock there.
Pat Kasuda
Coworker
April 6, 2021
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