Brooks Mather Kelley
KELLEY, BROOKS MATHER Brooks Mather Kelley, 83, a resident of Guilford for thirty-two years, died at Yale-New Haven Hospital on February 14, 2013. The cause was multi-system failure. He was born on August 18, 1929, in Lake Forest, Illinois, the son of Phelps and Mary Cotton Kelley. He attended Deerfield Academy and, afterward, served a year in the Army. He entered Yale College and graduated with a B.A. in 1953. While at Yale, he was a member of the secret society Book and Snake. Following a year with Price Waterhouse in Chicago, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he received his M.A. in 1956 and his Ph.D. in 1961. He was a Lecturer in History at Illinois Institute of Technology 1956-57. He was an Instructor at Yale 1961-64, Assistant Professor, 1964-67, Curator of Historical Manuscripts and University Archivist, 1964-66. He was, variously, Lecturer, Research Associate, and Research Affiliate at Yale from 1967 to 2007. He was the author of "Yale, A History," published by the Yale University Press in 1974 and reissued in paperback in 1998. Also in 1974 the New Haven Preservation Trust published his brief study, "New Haven Heritage: An Area of Historic Houses on Hillhouse Avenue and Trumbull Street." He was co-author with Daniel J. Boorstin of the much-lauded high school textbook, "A History of the United States," published first (1980) by Ginn and Company and subsequently by Pearson-Prentice Hall. It went through many editions, most recently in 2007 as part of a new series called Prentice Hall Classics. He was also editor, with Boorstin, of "Perspectives; Readings on American History in the 20th Century" (1992). He served as historical consultant to the television series "Freedom to Speak," based on the ideas and course of Yale history professor Rollin G. Osterweis, hosted by William F. Buckley, Jr., and produced by WQED/Pittsburgh in 1983. He was also a consultant in Modern European History for "The Random House Dictionary of the English Language," 2nd edition, unabridged, 1987. In 1956, he married Jean Russell. That marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his sister, Cynthia K. McGrath, his wife of 32 years, Suzanne Gray, and by his sons John Hutchinson (Bonny) and Todd Russell, and by his stepchildren, John and Elizabeth Burbank, and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, Phelps Cotton, and his son Brooks Russell Kelley. He served on the boards and as an officer of a number of nonprofit organizations: The New Haven Colony Historical Society (now Museum), The New Haven Preservation Trust, ISIS, The Foote School, and Connecticut Fund for the Environment. He loved to travel and with Suzanne visited all the continents and a large number of countries. Among his favorite journeys was traveling from Vladivostok to Moscow by private train just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and voyaging, also by train, from Beijing to Moscow following the route of the old Silk Road much of the way. Two of their trips took them around the world. He also loved to sail and skied into his 80's, active as he liked to say in nine different decades. There will be a memorial reception for Brooks held at the Graduate Club at 155 Elm Street in New Haven on March 9 at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Connecticut Fund for the Environment, 142 Temple Street, 3rd floor, New Haven, CT 06510 or to The Kelley Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 70 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06510.

Published by The New Haven Register from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2013.
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6 Entries
I just re-opened "Yale, a History" for the first time in 25-30 years and was reminded of the author's erudition and clean writing style. I wondered about Brooks Mather Kelley and googled his name, which was not possible back when I received the book as a birthday present while at Yale. How sorry I was to read that Mr. Kelley passed away just a few months ago. How thankful I am for his contributions to Yale over the years. Rest in peace.
Robert Schwartz
July 21, 2013
My heart goes out to Suzanne. Brooks was a remarkable man and I was glad to have gotten to know him. I would not have met Brooks unless he got in touch with me. Thanks to Compuserve, Brooks called me in CA in the early 90s because of the coincidence of our unique and rare names only to find out that I was his in fact his third cousin once removed. Our family had lost contact with each other's branch over the years. Brooks and I have stayed since his first contact with me and shared Kelley family history and other of life's moments. He and I shared many emails over recent years because of a common interest in researching the origins of the Kelley clan. His passion for detail and history were certainly evident in our discussions and a great asset to me in my genealogical research. I made some remarkable discoveries about our family's origins that I shared with Brooks that would not have been possible without his superb professionalism. His concern for the environment and for his beloved Guilford was one of the many admirable qualities I found in him when I met him for the first time after he came by to visit me and mother on a trip to CA. When I visited him in CT in the early 90s returning from a trip to France. I had locked the keys to my rental car in my trunk and called him to say I might be a little late coming to his see him. He calmly just asked me if I had a trunk release in the car which I did, and the problem was solved right away and we had a fantastic visit. He will be missed by this distant branch of his family but we know that he will be especially missed by his wife, children, his grandchildren, his sister Cynthia, and many close friends of this gentle and kind man.
Brooks Kelley
April 17, 2013
Brooks was a guiding light for all of us who care about our natural resources in Connecticut. Without him, the state and Long Island Sound would be diminished. All of us at Connecticut Fund for the Environment, an organization he nurtured and led, will miss him dearly. But his legacy of passion, integrity, decency and effectiveness will live on. Our hearts go out to Suzanne and the rest of the family.
-Don Strait, Executive Director, Connecticut Fund for the Environment
Don Strait
March 26, 2013
We shall miss this wonderful and learned man. He was gentle, kind, totally generous, truly and exceptionally modest, perfectly gracious, and as courteous and honorable, decent and obliging, as they make 'em. We are so glad to have known him, and so sad to have lost him. But we'll always treasure the picture of an ideal gentleman, which he has given us to keep.
Jim & Stephanie Nohrnberg
March 9, 2013
I was shocked and greatly saddened when times. My thoughts and sympathies are Suzanne called to tell me of Brooks had died. We were friends at Deerfield and roommates at Yale and shared many good times. My thoughts and sympathies are with Suzanne and all his family.
George Rapp
March 7, 2013
I'm so sad to hear this news. Brooks was a long time supporter of Rare and I greatly enjoyed our times together. My thoughts to the family during these dark days. Sincerest condolences!
Paul Butler
March 4, 2013
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