ROCKINGHAM, Vt. – Francis Jerome Kelly, 82, of Rockingham, Vt. died Saturday, July 9, 2022. He was born in Bellows Falls, Vt., Nov. 21, 1939. He attended St. Charles Catholic School and was a graduate of BFUHS class of 1957. Afterwards, he joined the Vermont National Guard then enlisted in the U.S. Army. His military career brought him and his family to many U.S. states, including Alaska and an overseas stay in Germany. He was also stationed in South Korea for two tours. He retired Sergeant Major from Fort Lee, Va. in 1988 and returned home.
A true Vermonter, he was raised in the local woods, rivers, and lakes, hunting, fishing, and enjoying all the natural world had to offer. A man of adventure, he instilled a love of the natural world to all his family and friends. Always outside, he was an unofficial steward of the village forest. He loved spending time in the woods cutting, splitting, and stacking wood for the winter. A character like no other, he would always have something witty to say and had many stories to share about his adventures in Alaska, Germany, and growing up in Vermont.
Francis is predeceased by his parents, Maurice Kelly Sr. and Hortense Baraby, brother Maurice Kelly Jr., and sister Shirley Howard. He is survived by his sister, Patricia Ann Ray of Jacksonville, Fla., his son Timothy Kelly of South Hadley, Mass., daughters Joanne Kelly and son-in-law Tom Fuschetto of Marlow, N.H., Christine Kelly-Terena of Bellows Falls, Michelle Kelly of Savannah, Ga., and Mary Kelly and son-in-law Greg Kaiser of Menlo Park, Calif. His beloved grandchildren are Apoema Terena, Amyra Terena, Emöke North, and Meroe Kaiser. He was loved by many nieces, nephews, and life-long friends. In lieu of flowers, you may choose to make a donation to the Vermont Veterans Fund at www.veterans.vermont.gov/office-veterans-affairs/programs-administered-office-veterans-affairs/vermont-veterans-fund.
There will be call in hours at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral home on Aug. 10, from 5–7 p.m. His wishes are to be buried at the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, Vt. A military ceremony and burial are planned for Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. in Randolph, Vt.