PRESQUE ISLE – Neal Bernard Kelley, 89, left this life, Sunday morning, Sept. 22, 2013, peacefully at his home in Presque Isle. Neal was born almost 90 years ago, Nov. 30, 1923, in Limestone, the youngest son of John and Georgiana (Corrow) Kelley.
He grew up in a proud farming family. After graduating from Limestone High School, he attended the University of Maine at Orono where he became a member of Phi Eta Kappa. Interrupting his education for service during World War II, Neal served as a member of the U.S. Navy, returning to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University in 1948. He married close to home, to his lifetime companion, Marlene (DeLucry) Kelley, formerly of Mapleton. After a brief stint in the Boston area, Neal was employed for many years in Aroostook County businesses and brokerages that brought Maine products to the tables of America. Along with his professional employment, Neal was known for his considerable “fix it” skills at home, at the family business,” Kelley’s Fabric Care” and anywhere else he was needed. As his family can attest, there were very few “I told you so’s.” He was an active member of the Kiwanis, a member of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church; attaining 4th degree in the Knights of Columbus. He continued to be a proud member of the American Legion and the Probus club. Neal served in a number of leadership capacities over many years of involvement in these organizations. If something needed to be done, Neal could be counted on to do it, in a quiet and understated fashion. Neal enjoyed time on the golf course, a good game of cribbage, and his many winters in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., with many special friends at Moontide. Neal was most proud of his family and their many accomplishments; ancestors and descendants alike.
He is survived by his wife of many years, Marlene of Presque Isle; his six children and their spouses; son, “Neal” Christopher and Alisa (Jackson) Kelley of Barrington, R.I.; daughters, Anne and Larry LaPlante of Presque Isle, Nanette and Robert Balliot of Bristol R.I., Paula and Carl Flora of Presque Isle, Rebecca Morgan-Buccieri and her husband, Steve, of Andover, Mass., and Coralee and Jeffrey Thomson of Kittery; and 15 grandchildren, Caroline, Jackson, and Ian Kelley, Jennifer, Steven, and Andrew LaPlante, Kathleen, Matthew, and Richard Flora, James, Sarah, and Jonathan Morgan, and Patrick, David, and Ellen Thompson. Neal is also remembered by his great-grandson, Luke LaPlante; and many beloved nieces and nephews. All of them will miss their “Dad,” their “Pappa,” their “Grampy,” and their “Uncle.” Neal was predeceased by his parents, John and Georgiana; brothers, Linwood, Hubert, and Bertrand Kelley; sisters, Marie Burke, Lena Leavitt, and Loretta Mahaney; and his infant daughter, Deborah.
Friends may call 10 a.m. until time of service Saturday, Sept. 28, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Parish of the Precious Blood, Main Street, Presque Isle. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. with the Very Rev. Jean Paul Labrie officiating. Interment with military honors will follow the Mass at North Main Catholic Cemetery, Presque Isle. Donations may be made in his memory to: St. Mary’s Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 813, Presque Isle, ME 04769; or to the House of Comfort, P.O. Box 867, Presque Isle, ME 04769. Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com.