Burr Funeral Home
116 South Street
Chardon, OH 44024
(440) 285-2182
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Willis E. Kelly

1909 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Willis E. Kelly, 102, of Hambden Township passed away Sept. 14, 2012, at UHHS Geauga Medical Center in Claridon Township.
Born Dec. 2, 1909, in Buffalo, N.Y., Mr. Kelly had been a resident of Geauga County since 1975.
Willis was a highly talented professional musician who excelled in playing the trumpet. He began playing when he was only 12 years old. His career was primarily in New York City where he had the good fortune to play with such artists as Artie Shaw, The Andrews Sisters, Lester Lennon, Kate Smith and many ""Big Bands"" during the 1940s. He performed at President John F. Kennedy's two inaugural balls. Upon retirement, he moved to Geauga County where he frequently performed in the community, sharing his gift with retirement communities, nursing homes and others.
Willis also enjoyed playing golf, bowling, snow skiing, motorcycle riding and, in his later years, playing music at nursing homes. He loved to entertain.
Survivors are his nephew, John Actman of Provincetown; niece, Jane Castle of New York; and cousin, Ruth Fern Toth of Willoughby.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marguerite Kelly in 1980; son, Dennis Kelly; and parents, William and Emma (Steeb) Kelly.
Funeral services will be 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Burr Funeral Home, 116 South Street (Route 44, 500 feet south of Route 6/Chardon Square), Chardon. The Rev. Daniel Drew of Chardon United Methodist Church will officiate.
Friends may call from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Acacia Cemetery, Mayfield Heights.
Donations are suggested to The , 6100 Rockside Woods North, Cleveland, OH 44131, The , 1689 E. 115th St., Cleveland, OH 44106 or the Salvation Army.
Arrangements by The Burr Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Information and online condolences at www.burrservice.com.
Published in www.News-Herald.com on Sept. 25, 2012
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