Gerald J.'s Story
Gerald J. Kelley, Sr. passed peacefully on August 2, 2017 surrounded by family.
He was born during a blizzard on February 12, 1923 at his parents’ home in Haverhill. The son of James and Susie (Molloy) Kelley, he spent most of his entire life in Haverhill. He attended St. James Elementary and High Schools and went on to earn a degree from Merrimack College. The most important thing Gerry got out of school was his beautiful, amazing wife of 60 years, Jeanne (Everett) Kelley, who predeceased him in 2007. The devoted newlyweds were forced to be apart during Gerald’s service, first in the Merchant Marines and then in the U.S. Army. After his honorable discharge, he came home to raise a family with Jeanne. The results were impressive – 10 children in 20 years. He worked most of his career at Western Electric in various supervisory and management capacities. After his retirement, he started a car rental company along with his son and daughter.
Gerry loved God, his church, and every nun who took the time to discipline him. He loved having a big family almost as much as he loved singing, so he created a “big singing family” and encouraged weekly family concerts in the kitchen or on the back porch. Whenever he did anything at all, he sang quietly to himself “Bless This House." Gerry loved babies and animals, and you could always count on a smile and overall softening when you handed him a baby or a kitten or a puppy. He loved sports, especially football, and could have made a career in sports broadcasting if there had been a living room league. He loved playing racquetball at the YMCA with his son Mark as his partner. He loved playing in the snow after a snowstorm, building igloos for the kids and hosing down our sloped lawn to freeze it for ice skating. He taught us how to skate up hill.
Over his 94 years, Gerry filled many roles for many people – devoted husband and caretaker to his wife, Jeanne, in her last years; dad and provider to ten kids; uncle, grampa, great-grampa; brother in-law, church and choir member; employee, friend (shout out to Oscar!), neighbor, war veteran, citizen. He loved Haverhill and never wanted to leave it, but in recent years Gerry moved to Methuen Village, where he met new friends and received loving care. The family is grateful to the wonderful people at Methuen Village who cared for him so kindly and well.
Gerald is predeceased by his parents, Susie and James Kelley, his wife, Jeanne, and by his daughter, Anne Marie. He is survived by his children, Susan Kamberalis and husband James of Palm Coast, Fla., Gerald J. Kelley, Jr. and wife, Dianne of Largo, Fla., Kathleen Lynch and husband, Peter of Newton, N.H., Mary Wysocki of Somersworth, N.H., Maureen Kelley-Dembitz and husband, Kenneth of Haverhill, Michael Kelley and partner, Christine Geisler of Bridgewater Corners, Vt., Mark Kelley and wife Patricia of Haverhill, Eileen Cunsolo and husband Alfio of Methuen and Christine Kelley and partner David Adams or Haverhill. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews and brothers in-law Edmund (Buster) Lucey and Fred Bishop.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 6, in the Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 So. Main Street, Haverhill from 2 to 4 p.m. Services will begin Monday in the funeral home at 10 a.m. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. James Church, 185 Winter Street at 11 a.m. Interment with U.S. Army Honors will follow in St. James Cemetery, Primrose Street, Haverhill. For online guestbook, please visit www.driscollcares.com.
Published on  August 4, 2017