Dr. Kevin C. Kelley died on Sunday morning, March 12, 2023. He was 79 years old, and is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Catherine Kelley; his children, Kevin Kelley Jr. (Sandra), Caroline Kelley (David Gold), Patrick Kelley (Heather) and Elizabeth Kelley. His 11 grandchildren are Theodore, Josie, Susanna and Victor Kelley; Laila and Ellie Gold; Bowen and Georgia Kelley; and Gianluca, Julian and Clara Marroni. He is also survived by siblings John, Paul and Michael Kelley, Maryann Parrott and Patricia Kelley. He was predeceased by siblings Sheila and Thomas A. Kelley.
Dr. Kelley was an obstetrician at Christiana Care for almost two decades. A graduate of West Point, Ranger and airborne qualified, he served in Vietnam, earning a silver star, bronze star, and combat infantryman’s badge. He attended medical school at the University of Vermont, then reentered the Army, beginning a seventeen-year career as a physician at military hospitals in Tacoma, Washington; West Berlin, Germany; Lawton, Oklahoma; and Augusta, Georgia.
Dr. Kelley balanced a strong sense of self discipline with playfulness and dedication to his family. Even as a medical student, he made time to be home for family dinners nightly. On weekends, he could be found cycling through the Delaware greenways, often accompanied by one of his adult children or devoted dogs. As a father and father in-law, he was extraordinarily intuitive, caring, and encouraging. His children and grandchildren adored him.
His marriage, from his children’s perspective, was magical. For 56 years, Kevin and Mary Catherine opened their homes to friends and family. Together with his wife, he made the Kelley home a refuge and place of joyful gatherings. Grandchildren dropped in on the Kelley home regularly to chat with Grandpa and Nana, not hesitating to bring along friends and stragglers, welcome all.
Dr. Kelley brought a calming bedside manner to his vocation, having chosen the medical specialty that was perhaps the most joyous: helping mothers deliver babies. When one of his children or loved ones was hurt, he would tend to them carefully and most always conclude with an empathetic “Yes, that will hurt for a while.” His loss will indeed hurt, but we will always remember his humor, positivity, and joy for life.
Funeral services will be held at 10am on Friday, March 17, at Saint Ann’s Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Visitation will begin the night before, on Thursday, March 16, at McCrery & Harra Funeral Home from 5- 7 pm, 3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington. Interment will be on Sunday, March 19 at 10am at Beech Grove Cemetery in Rockport, Massachusetts.
For online condolences visit: www.mccreryandharra.com