Brian's Story

DOVER-FOXCROFT - Brian M. Kelly, 74, passed away peacefully at home on November 19, 2014. Brian was the son of the late Robert M. Kelly and Grace J. (O'Meara) Kelly.

Brian was an adventurer, a problem-solver, and a friend to all. He rarely took the easy route and was far more excited by the journey than by his destination. Each day was new. He loved challenges. He collected people and gave generously of a hugely optimistic spirit and his friendship.

Above all other pursuits, Brian loved to fly. As a Private Pilot, Brian flew for 51 years, mostly in tail-draggers and on floats. He often said that he was newly excited each time he flew to see Earth in its wider dimensions, laid out before him like a great map.

In 1961, Brian became the youngest elected Town Meeting Member in Weymouth, Massachusetts history. In Brewster, Massachusetts he served the town for more than a decade as Chairman of the Stoney Brook Mill Sites. In Dover-Foxcroft, he served on the Airport Advisory Committee for many years as Airport Manager at the Charles A. Chase, Jr. Memorial Airport.

Brian served six years in the Naval Air Reserve as a crewman in Grumman S2-Fs and was stationed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in 1964 when Castro turned off the water to the base.

He studied Machine and Tool Design at Wentworth Institute and Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning System Design at Franklin Institute prior to joining Alonzo B. Reed, Inc. in Boston as a draftsman. He worked in Charleston, So. Carolina for Rosenblatt & Associates, marine engineers, before moving to New York City to a position at Syska Hennessey, where he designed hospital clean rooms. However, Brian never enjoyed city life.

An opportunity he felt too good to pass up took him with his bride from Manhattan to Cape Cod. Using only hand tools, he and Helen tore down an 1820 Cape Cod style house. Together they moved it board-by-board, brick-by-brick to a new location, reconstructed the "house kit", and moved into their new home the night their first child was born. Brian worked in the building trades for 15 years before joining East Cape Engineering Inc. in Orleans, Massachusetts, where his early interest in surveying reemerged.

He moved to Maine in 1990 when at age 50 he returned to school at the University of Maine to complete the core Survey Engineering curriculum. While working in the field with a Maine surveyor he earned his Bachelors Degree in Engineering Management through Southwest University, he became a Site Evaluator, licensed to design septic systems, and he received his Professional Land Surveyor's license in 2000. Brian served as President of the Hancock/Penobscot Chapter of the Maine Society of Land Surveyors and as a Director - At Large on the MSLS state board. He loved the woods and fields; he loved his work.

Brian is survived by his wife of 46 years, Helen Streeter Kelly of Dover-Foxcroft; a son Colin Daniel Kelly, his wife Stacy and grandson Finian of Union, Maine; his daughter Bevin Kelly St. Charles, her husband Edward and granddaughter Madalin of Lincolnville, Maine; two brothers, Gerard P. Kelly and wife Constance of Plymouth, Massachusetts and Gregory P. Kelly and wife Candace of Brewster, Massachusetts; his sister-in-law Mary Kelly of Pembroke, Massachusetts; seven nephews and nieces; and many Kelly and O'Meara cousins. In addition to his parents, two brothers, Robert M. Kelly, Jr. and Daniel L. Kelly, predecease Brian. Brian leaves lasting friendships too numerable to count.

Mass for Brian will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 43 High Street, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM. A reception in the church basement will follow the service. His ashes will be committed in a graveside service on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 2:00 PM at the Orleans Cemetery, Orleans, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.

In his honor, the Brian Kelly Surveying Scholarship has been established at the University of Maine to benefit a non-traditional surveying student over 50. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792 or made online at umainefoundation.org.
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