PENOBSCOT - Richard Downey Kelley, 76, transitioned peacefully and gracefully from his earthly home Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, from a Bangor hospital. He was surrounded by his loving family and a brilliant white light to guide his journey to his new heavenly home. Richard was born Aug. 9, 1937, in Boston, to George and Mary (Hansbury) Kelley into a large family.
He often remarked that he was truly blessed by having so many sisters to help him mind his manners and grow to be a fine gentleman! Richard attended St Mary's High School in Waltham, Mass., and upon graduation entered the Citadel in Charleston, S.C., where after earning his degree was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corp. He served his country honorably as an officer in their prestige tank corp. Upon discharge, Richard who was blessed with many attributes including "a silver tongue" embarked on a career in the sales industry, primarily marketing Italian spaghetti sauce for Progresso Foods and bottled water for Poland Springs, at a time, when few believed either product had a financial future. An Irishman selling spaghetti sauce and then water in a bottle during the 1970s was highly suspect! But sell them he did, advancing to the position of Northeast Regional Manager for Poland Springs of Maine and then working for the Perrier and Nestle Corporations when Poland Springs was incorporated internationally until he retired and moved to Maine. It was rumored that Richard Kelley could "talk a cat off a fish truck" as a salesman and gentleman. He relished meeting, sharing and "breaking bread" with others throughout his personal life and professional career. When medical challenges "robbed" him of so much of what he enjoyed; he prevailed and found other ways to flame his passions for socializing and being with others. His organizing of the "Bagaduce Elite Marching Band as colonel (full bird) Kelley that marched in the Brooklin Fourth of July parade exemplified his determination and perseverance, as did his yearly crazy hat Halloween contest. He was an officer with the Blue hill gun club and a board member of the Blue Hill Library. Prior to relocating to Maine, he served as a senior chief volunteer EMT in both New Jersey and New Hampshire.
Richard was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by, the love of his life, wife, Beverly (Driscoll) Kelley R.N.; his brother, George and wife, Helen, of Hull, Mass.; sisters, Sally Kelley of Washington D.C., Ann Sheeran of Wenham, Mass., Mary J Lynch of Branford, Conn., Kathleen Kelley of Upton, Mass., Susan Kelley and husband, Bill Roy, of Miami Beach, Fla., Brenda Kelley of Framingham, Mass., Diana Kelley of Paris, France, Pauline Kelley and her husband, Philip Swanton, of New York City, and Priscilla Kelley and her husband, Richard Roberti, of Marston Hills, Mass.; daughter, Ann Kelley and son, Richard Jr., and Jennifer Kelley and her husband, Andy Guthrie. His extended family includes, Lisa Pierce, Leanne Batten, Jennifer Moretto, and Amy McCarthy. He particularly loved his grandchildren and family visiting Maine and enjoying the wonders and beauty of the coast and Bagaduce waterway.
There will be a memorial service in the spring to honor Richard's life and loves! Those who wish to remember him can make donations in his name to Hospice of Hancock County, 14 McKenzie Ave., Ellsworth 04605; or to The Blue Hill Library, P.O. Box 824, Blue Hill, ME 04614. The family wishes to thank the dedicated and competent staff at The Eastern Maine Medical Center, particularly Dr. Robert Bach M.D. chief of palliative care and the staff at Blue Hill Hospital for all they did for Richard. Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 141 South St., Blue Hill. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.