George Joseph “Coach” Kelly passed away peacefully on June 20, 2018 in New Bern, NC. He was born on August 29, 1931 in Conshohoken, PA. He graduated from St. Matthew’s High School where he learned and loved the game of football. He was recruited to further develop these skills and attended Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, PA, and Eastern Military Academy in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, before accepting a full scholarship to The Citadel in Charleston, SC, from which he graduated in the Class of 1956. Following graduation, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army and became an instructor in the Ranger Department at Fort Benning, GA, serving as a First Lieutenant.
Coach Kelly’s trinity included his family, friends and football. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years Pat (McHugh) Kelly of New Bern, NC, and their children Nancy Kelly (Erin Steffy) of Phoenixville, PA, Debbie Kelly (Steve Parker) of Durham, NC, and Glenn Kelly (Redonna) of New Bern. His grandchildren, Addison Caite Kelly and Grayson Paige Kelly, of Phoenixville, PA, added great joy to his life. He was a generous, loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He enjoyed gardening, and his beautiful homes reflected his love of flowers, plants, trees, animals and birds.
Coach Kelly had many friends, most of whom he knew throughout his long career as Head Football Coach and high school History teacher on Long Island, NY, first at Northport (1958-1961) and then North Babylon (1962-1993). After retirement, football beckoned again, and he coached at Half Hollow Hills West (1993-1998). His teams won many Conference Championships, including the Rutgers Trophy.
He was an extraordinary athlete and loved all sports. He was the first freshman “knob” to play varsity football at The Citadel. Next to time on the gridiron with his teams, he tirelessly and successfully sought college scholarships for his players. Some went on to become coaches themselves, and others played for the NFL. This was his true legacy.
He collected fun-loving allies and accomplices who shared his passion for athletics, including basketball, golf, fishing and running. For years, he enjoyed with great pleasure owning and racing horses.
George and Pat raised their family on Long Island, first in Smithtown and later in Dix Hills. They retired to New Bern in 1999 and thoroughly enjoyed new friends, travel, family visits, community, and St. Paul Parish. While George’s active life was curtailed by health concerns over the past few years, he remained truly blessed by the love and caring of his dear family, many friends and extraordinary caregivers. George had a wonderful life, blessed by the Good Lord. He remains always in our hearts and will be dearly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Bertha (Mrozek) Kelly, and aunts Violet Mrozek, Jean Duda and Della Russell. He is survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Visitation is scheduled on Monday, July 2, 6-8pm at Cotten Funeral Home, including the Rosary at 7pm.
A Celebration Mass will be held on Tuesday, July 3, 3pm at St. Paul Catholic Church, with Fr. Thomas Tully officiating. A reception will follow in the Atrium.
Family and friends are invited to share their memories on the Cotten Funeral Home website (www.cottenfuneralhome.com) under Obituaries.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in George’s name to Craven County Hospice Foundation, PO 12610, New Bern, NC 28561 or to St. Paul Catholic School, 3007 Country Club Road, New Bern, NC 28562.
Posted in: Sun Journal
Posted on: 2018-06-26
Link to original obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newbernsj/obituary.aspx?n=george-joseph-kelly&pid=189387697&fhid=13861