Jul 12, 1930 - Oct 2, 2020
Henry David Kelly of Englewood, FL, formerly of Somerset, NJ, affectionately known as "Hank", Dad, Daddy, Pop Pop, or Uncle Henry died peacefully on, Friday evening, October 2, 2020 surrounded by his family and his loving partner of 35 years, Helen Duchanski, after a short battle with Pancreatic Cancer.
Hank recently celebrated his 90th Birthday on July 12. Interestingly, Hank loved the color orange and was born on William of Orange Day, who led the victory at the Battle of Boyne on 12th July and became King of England uniting Protestants across the Kingdom. The holiday is still celebrated by many Protestants in Northern Ireland, Canada and parts of Scotland - however, Hank was born Catholic.
Hank was born in the Bronx section of New York City in 1930, one year after the Great Depression started and was the son of Henry Hugh Kelly and Eleanor Chambers Kelly who immigrated from Liverpool, England in the early 1900's. His ancestoral family name comes from the Kelly Klan who roamed the Isle of Man. Hank was one of five children and was a loving brother to his 4 Sisters: Francis Hickey, Mary Curran, Rita Hall and Kathleen Lorio and has predeceased each of them over the years. Hank also is predeceased by his former wife and mother of his six children, Elizabeth "Betty" Ann (nee Cash) Kelly.
Hank is survived by his loving partner of 35 years, Helen Duchanski, his six children Henry, Eleanor, Raymond (Shellie Davis), Timothy, Mary Agnes (Douglas Brodowski) and Brendan (Conrad Hanson-Kelly) along with his grandchildren, Stephanie (Clinton Plaza) Timothy Taffuri, Samantha and Alexander Brodowski, Grace Davis and James Davis Kelly, Matthew Kelly and a recent Great Grandchild Scarlet Kelly Plaza, his brother in law John Lorio and many nieces and nephews including William, Carol Ann, Ellen, John (Christine) Rita (Dominic) Tom (Karin) Kelly Ann (Steve) and Doris ( Merlyn), including
Helen's children Bonnie (Larry) and their son, Helen's grandchild Nate.
Hank graduated from the great Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx and quickly joined the US Navy in 1948, serving 4 years during the Korean War as a Radioman on the Miles C Fox Battleship (Destroyer DD-829). Hank was asked to serve an additional year due to the Involuntary Extended Assignment order
signed by President Harry S Truman. Hank happily served an additional year getting honorably discharged in 1952. Shortly after leaving the Navy, Hank began working at Western Electric and using the GI Bill attended New York University (NYU) at night successfully earning degrees in Industrial, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Hank worked at Western Electric until it became AT&T for 33 years, starting his retirement in Southwest Florida 35 years ago.
Hank loved sports and was a die-hard NY Ranger (Hockey), NY Giants (Football) and NY Mets (Baseball) Fan, having season tickets to many of them. Hank was initially a NY Giant Baseball fan watching games in the famous Polo Fields, before the team broke his young heart and moved West to San Francisco. In 1962, shortly after the birth of his 3rd child, Raymond, he become a NY Met fan, again watching the NY Mets in the same Polo fields he watched his Giants. Despite growing up in the Bronx, Hank was never a fan of the NY Yankee Baseball team - but often times you could spot him as a young kid watching America's favorite summer pastime in Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia's box seats along with his best friend John Peluso in Yankee Stadium. John's father was Mayor LaGuardia's personal valet and often was able to secure the tickets by taking Hank, John and Mayor LaGuardia's son Eric Henry to the games. Henry visited and watched a baseball game in most every Major League Stadium, something he would tell his children often.
Hank settled in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, NJ in early 1960 through 1985 and raised his 6 children with Betty - traveling to work each Day on the NY Commuter line from New Brunswick, returning late in the evening each day but spending time with his family and attending St Matthias Church
on the weekends, taking his family to Cedar Hill Swim Club in the summer, and organizing and hosting the Neighborhood's St Patrick's Day party each year. Hank was a Senior member of the St Matthias Holy Name Society, assisting with initial development of the Church and School buildings and was a final selection as a layman (Deacon) in the 1970's when the Catholic Church was starting to welcome lay people into the church to perform routine services. Hank declined the offer and shortly thereafter grew less interested in the Catholic Church.
Hank moved from Somerset and retired to Southwest Florida and lived in the Sanctuary Retirement complex in Englewood, FL with his Loving Partner Helen and where he was known as the "Mayor" of the complex, ensuring all Holiday Party events, Weekly Happy Hours, Golf and Tennis League Tournaments were planned, organized, properly tracked and successfully completed. Hank had many friends in Retirement - many of who he predeceased, however - Dar Tyler and Anne Luley - were dear friends to him up to his death. Hank loved playing golf and achieved 4 Hole-In-One scenarios throughout his playing years despite an awkward left pointing stance in order to compensate for his dreaded slice.
During the Navy, Hank was able to see a large part of the world and Helen and him continued their travels across the globe during retirement spending time in a small village in Northern Western France tracing Helen's French Polish decedents, watching the penguins in the Antarctica off the coast of South America, traveling the coastlines of Alaska or Nova Scotia or the Caribbean, or being watched from outer space while walking the Great Wall of China. Hank and Helen loved to Travel and have shared many pictures of their travels across the years. Hank always wanted a picture.
Hank was a staunch Democrat and before polarizing times, simply was led by his idol John F Kennedy famous words - "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." Hank voted "in person" for every General Election other than his first in 1948, which where his vote was made
by absentee ballot as he joined the US Armed Services that year and was on active duty stationed in the Mediterranean Sea. Hank was anxiously awaiting his Florida mail-in ballot but it never arrived but as his Mother In Law, Agnes Cash Rooney once said - a Democrat can always vote from the grave!
Hank, Dad, Daddy, Pop Pop and Uncle Henry made a lasting impression on everyone he met - he was a lovable but Gruff man. He always said what he thought regardless of the outcome or who he was talking to - just always spoke his mind. Most everyone respected the person he was.
Rest Peacefully Among the Angels Hank, and give our regards to all who have
gone before us , share your many pictures, and Until we meet again….we will love and miss you until then.
Services will be planned at a later date, an Irish wake at his son Timmy's
establishment Kelly's Korner in New Brunswick, NJ and another at the Sanctuary Retirement Complex in Englewood, FL.
Hanks favorite charity was RIP Medical Debt and asked any donations to be sent to 80 Theodore Fremd Avenue, Rye, NY 10580