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Edward  F.  Kelly

Obituary for Edward F. Kelly

November 21, 1940 - January 23, 2017
Melrose, Massachusetts | Age 76

42-Year Melrose Firefighter


Mr. Edward F. Kelly, a longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, January 23, 2017, at age 76.

Edward was born in Melrose on November 21, 1940. He was raised in Melrose, graduated from Melrose High School, and proudly entered the service in February of 1958. Ed was an Airman in the United States Navy during the initial stages of the Vietnam War. He also served aboard the USS Lake Champlain, antisubmarine carrier (CVS-9) and was part of the recovery team to pick up Alan Shepard from the first manned space flight in 1961. Ed's time in the Navy was the beginning of a life dedicated to public service, for his country, his community, and fellow citizens.

Ed served the people of Melrose as a Firefighter for 42 years, dedicating himself to the safety of others through his day to day work, as well as a nationally certified EMT. He was appointed as the Emergency Management Director for Melrose, a role he held for over a decade. Ed was instrumental in developing an improved emergency response system for Melrose and beyond. His concern was for the health and well-being of other citizens, and worked to improve the level of public safety for all. He also led the Auxiliary Police in Melrose for several years, served as a community liaison to Hallmark Health Emergency Management Committee, and worked on behalf of the Mystic Region Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Ed's passion for improving public safety led him to become a local voice in Melrose government and state level initiatives. He was one of the first in the State of Massachusetts to be certified as an Emergency Management Director, and received a commendation recognizing his work in drafting guidelines for state EMD requirements. Ed was also a key member of the Homeland Security's Northeast Regional Advisory Council, having served for 11 years and helping to establish vital systems to improve interoperability for emergency response teams.

Always supportive of Melrose and involved with local projects, Ed was a founding member of the Melrose Art Festival, and chaired the Melrose Centennial Committee. He also was an assistant professor at North Shore Community College.

Young at heart, Ed was a fun-loving father who enjoyed coaching little league baseball, drove the bus for Malden Drum Corps, and kept everyone guessing with his sense of humor. When not working in the community, Ed enjoyed time spent on Cape Cod, kayaking, fishing, biking, or just relaxing at the beach, regardless of the weather. He was proud of his Irish heritage, loved a Celtic tune, and was forever loyal to his family. He was a great father, doting uncle, and most of all, cherished his time spent at home with the love of his life, Lillian. Throughout his life, Ed Kelly made a lasting impression on everyone he met, and the impact he had on his family, friends, and the community will continue on as his legacy. He will missed, but always lovingly remembered.

Ed was the beloved husband of Lillian Yadgood Kelly with whom he shared 29 years of marriage. Loving father of Pamela Kelly Dobay and her husband John of Lynn, Edward F. Kelly, Jr. and his wife Lora of Ledyard, CT, Timothy Kelly and his wife Pamela of Malden, Bonnie Kelly of Melrose, Susan Kelly of Jacksonville, FL, Jessica M. Kelly of CT, Bryan E. Kelly of Somerville, and Gabriel Roman Kelly of Ashland. Dear brother of Paul J. Kelly and his wife Dottie of Atkinson, NH, and brother-in-law of Alvin Yadgood and his wife Maureen of N. Andover. Devoted son of the late Edward L. and Barbara Kelly, and dear son-in-law of Eva and the late Peter Yadgood. Also survived by 11 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Relatives & friends will gather in honor of Ed's life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Thursday, Jan. 26 from 4-8pm and again on Friday morning at 9am before leaving in procession to St. Mary's Church, Herbert St., Melrose for his Funeral Mass celebrated at 10am. Interment with US Navy honors at Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. Gifts in honor of Ed may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 9 Erie Dr., Ste. 101, Natick, MA 01760.

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