Timothy Kelly, Irish Army vet, was 90


Timothy Patrick Kelly, a longtime Kingsbridge resident, died on Aug. 7. He was 90.

Mr. Kelly was born in Eyeries, Beara, County Cork, Ireland on April 23, 1922. Orphaned by the age of 4, Mr. Kelly and his six siblings were raised by their paternal grandmother, Julia, who could neither read nor write. She was however, smart as a whip, and refused to send the children to an orphanage and decided to raise them herself.

Mr. Kelly served as a corporal in the Irish Army during World War II as a marksman. He had a regiment of men reporting to him, even though he only had a fifth-grade education, according to his family. He served in the Irish Army from ages 18 to 24.

He immigrated to the United States at age 25 and soon married Anne Christina O’Sullivan in St. John’s Church in Kingsbridge, where he was a lifelong parishioner. Though the two grew up in tiny Irish villages only about three miles apart, it wasn’t until they immigrated to the Bronx that they fell in love. They met at the annual Beara dance at the Star of Munster Ballroom, a Bronx hub for Irish music, on East 138th Street.

They were engaged a few months later and married on Oct. 11, 1958.

In 2008, the couple was featured in The Riverdale Press for celebrating their 50th anniversary at the Green Tree in North Riverdale. 

“My parents still hold hands,” daughter Deb Kelly said in the article. “They are devoted to each other. They define the meaning of the word ‘love.’”

Their anniversary wasn’t the first time Mr. Kelly’s name appeared in the pages of The Press. In 1960, Mr. Kelly was featured in the paper for single handedly putting out a fire at a local merchant’s store as his daughter looked on from her baby carriage. Mr. Kelly’s name is also the name of his grandson’s soccer team, Kelly’s Heroes, of the Riverdale Soccer Club.

Mr. Kelly worked as an engineer with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 94. He went to night school after work and earned his GED at age 42.

Mr. Kelly is survived by his wife of 54 years, Anne Christina O’Sullivan; daughter Deb; son Brendan; grandchildren Kelly Anne, Timothy Patrick,  Jack Matthew; and his beloved shih-tzu, Rudy.

A funeral Mass was celebrated at the Church of the Visitation on Aug. 11, followed by interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery and a luncheon honoring him at La Bella Havana restaurant in Yonkers.

Timothy Patrick Kelly, obituary