SOUTH BURLINGTON– William John Patrick Kelly, age 89, passed away on Monday, July 17, 2023, at Respite House, with his loving family by his side.
William (Bill) John Patrick Kelly was born on September 3, 1933. He spent his formative years during the Depression, living in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. His father was lucky to have a job at that time with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Bill was the third son of Margaret Kelly (nee Sherman) and John Kelly. His older brothers Robert Kelly and Joseph Kelly were 4 and 8 years his senior, respectively. When Bill was 10 his sister Patricia was born.
At 17 years of age, Bill enlisted in the Navy and went to fight during the Korean War. After being honorably discharged he used his GI Bill to go to the University of California in Los Angeles. Bill would only complete a few semesters before returning to the East Coast. While in New York City he took the skills he had learned working on airplanes for the Navy and put them to use in what would become his passion for mechanical engineering and his lifelong career working with airplane engines.
After a few jobs in the New York City area, Bill received an offer to work for Aramco with their fleet of airplanes and helicopters and set off for Saudi Arabia. It would be here that he would meet and marry Alice (Peggy) Lamb. They both had an adventurous spirit and would spend their entire lives living in foreign countries. Bill and Peggy began their family with the births of Maureen and Eileen in Ethiopia. They then moved to Taiwan for 2 years and then to California where Sharon would be born. They would stay in California until 1971 when an opportunity afforded itself for a move to Tehran, Iran. After working in Iran for Iran Air for 8 years the 1979 revolution forced the family to return to the States. Once Bill returned to the States, he secured a job as an engineer with General Electric that took him and his family to Ohio, Seoul, Korea, and then Paris, France.
In 1985 Bill and Peggy returned to Ohio where they would live until 1994. During this time Bill would spend long weeks traveling to China while Peggy would remain in Ohio. In 1994 Bill and Peggy began their final overseas adventure by moving to Moscow, Russia.
In each country Bill would learn the language to fluency, immerse himself and his family in the culture, and instill in his daughters a zest for travel and love of new adventures. Each country would present challenges that Bill would address ensuring that his family would be safe and flourish.
In 1996, it came time to retire, and Bill and Peggy found a lovely house on Robitaille Road in East Berkshire, Vermont. Bill and Peggy tirelessly turned this house into a homestead that would be enjoyed by all 6 of their grandchildren Aaron, Austen, Clara, Julia, Erik, Alice and countless friends and relatives. Bill again immersed himself in the local culture of East Berkshire and devoted his free time after retirement to teaching catechism at the St. John the Baptist church as well as participating in the restoration of the East Berkshire Town Hall assisting in various fundraising events with Peggy.
Bill was a voracious reader of any type of fiction but particularly loved historical nonfiction. He taught himself new skills, tinkered with anything mechanical at the homestead, built models, and enjoyed woodworking and collecting stamps and coins.
Bill was an intelligent, self-made man with a wicked sense of humor, who was generous and giving to all those around him. He will be dearly missed by his devoted family.
William is survived by his daughters, Maureen Schips, Eileen CichoskiKelly, and Sharon Kelly-Larson; grandchildren, Aaron Schips, Austen Schips, Clara CichoskiKelly, Julia CichoskiKelly, Erik Larson, and Alice Larson. He was predeceased by his parents, wife Alice Kelly (nee Lamb), brothers Robert and Joseph and sister Patricia.
Family and friends are invited to Bill’s services to include a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, July 21, 2023 at 11:00AM at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 62 Missisquoi Street, Enosburg Falls, VT 05450 with interment to follow in the St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, 257 Stonehouse Road in Enosburg.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in William’s memory may be made to Franklin County Animal Rescue, 30 Sunset Meadows, St. Albans City, VT 05478 or Catholic Charities.
Condolences, photos and favorite memories may be shared through www.gossfs.com