Tom Kelly was born on June 6, 1937 in Port Huron, Michigan to Jacob and Florence Kelly (Kieliszewski), both of whom preceded him in death. His wife Nancy, died in April 2002. Tom graduated from St. Stephens High School in 1955 and enrolled at Eastern Michigan College of Commerce in the fall of 1955 to earn a Degree in Professional Accounting. Tom enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 1954 and was Honorably Discharged in 1962. Tom enjoyed playing baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and figure skating at the local parks in Michigan and the skating arenas in Sarnia, Ontario. Tom, his father and brother owned and operated a landscaping/stone business in Port Huron from 1952 to 1963.
Tom worked at Mueller Brass Company in Port Huron as a production employer and won the highest Suggestion Award given by the company at that time. He entered the Engineering Training Program offered and completed the program in 1965 as a “Senior Facilities Engineer.” Tom relocated to Detroit, Michigan and was employed at United Industrial Engineering and Solar Engineering as a Senior Facilities Specialist, laying out assembly plants for Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation. He also worked at Ellis Naeyaert Architectural Firm laying out slaughterhouses for Armour, Leaf Spring Manufacturing plants, and other small businesses in and around the Detroit area. In the spring of 1968, he was again back at Ford Motor in Dearborn laying out the new Kentucky Truck plant when he was approached to transfer to Connersville, Indiana and work at the Ford owned “Philco Plant.” His 31.5 years there were spent predominantly as a Facilities Engineering Specialist with the exception of 10 months as a Production Superintendent. Tom retired in January 2000, and accepted a position with T. K.F. Inc., located in Cincinnati, Ohio as a Senior Facilities Specialist/Material Handling Consultant, where he stayed until March of 2010.
Tom was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church, serving on the Parish Pastoral Council, Eucharistic Minister both at the Masses and visiting patients at Reid Memorial Hospital and occasionally nursing homes. Tom has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since April 1983, and was elected Trustee/Church Director in 2006. He enjoyed all sports activities, especially target shooting at Old Trails Gun Club. He enjoyed reading novels and listening to some of his favorite CD’s from his vast collection. Tom loved all of his grandchildren and enjoyed being called “Papa Tom” by them. Tom’s greatest desire was to live long enough to see them all graduate from college, get married, and start families of their own that he could continue to love. One of Tom’s accomplishments in his lifetime was that he wrote his first book, titled “Earl,” which he decided against publishing and gave copies of it to his family and closest friends. Tom had a true passion for his dogs. For anyone who knew him, both Molly (deceased) and Bella (living) were his pride and joy. He spoiled them with lots of love and warm turkey for their meals.
Tom is survived by his daughters Carol Ann Olive (John Chaney) and Susan Marlena Thompson (Jeff Thompson), brother Ronald James Kelly, grandchildren Sami Olive, Grace Olive, Sidne Thompson, Brandon Thompson (Jessica Thompson), Hillary Chaney, great grandchildren Joey, Abby, and Aubrey Thompson, as well as many other loved family members.
Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 pm on Friday, May 29th at Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home in Richmond, Indiana. Liturgy of Christian Burial will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to The Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, ℅ Richmond Catholic Office, 240 South 6th Street, Richmond, IN 47374, and OTRPC (Gun Club), 2601 Straightline Pike, P.O. Box 2511, Richmond, IN 47375-2511. Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at stegallberheideorr.com.