Obituary of Owen T Kelly
Owen T. Kelly, 93, passed away at Arden Courts Memory Care Community in West Orange on January 12, 2024. Born in College Point, NY to the late Patrick and Kitty (Studdert) Kelly, Owen grew up in Rockaway Beach, NY and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1951. He served as a Radar Man 2nd Class aboard the USS Libra until his honorable discharge in 1954.
In 1955, Owen married the love of his life; Brigid McCann and began raising their family in Brooklyn, later moving to Long Beach, LI and ultimately settling in South Plainfield in 1967. He started his working career as a draftsman with Western Electric in NYC, which later became AT&T. Pursuing a career in electrical engineering, he worked the ranks to become Senior Engineer, retiring in 1994 after thirty-nine years of employment. In 1983, Owen started working with the Moretti Real Estate Group in South Plainfield as a real estate agent and worked well into his eighties.
A dedicated member of the South Plainfield Community, Owen has left a legacy and touched many lives over the years. In 1972, he was elected to town council. He served for three years and became Council President. He chaired the Economic Development Committee, belonged to the Planning Board, Middlesex County Tercentennial Commission and was V.P. of the Industrial Commission from ’77-’81. He was appointed to the town council again in 1983 to fill a unexpired term and in 2007, received the highest town honors, Grand Marshall for the 50th Anniversary Labor Day Parade and recipient of the Cappy Award.
Over the years, Owen was instrumental in the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee, the planning of the Senior Center and was the first in the town to approve and obtain the transportation van for the senior citizens of the borough. His political life did not stop him from helping the youth in the town. Owen was a Junior Baseball Coach in ’67-’70, ’73-‘75 and again in ’97-’03, this time as an assistant coach for some of his former players children and his grandson. He was Baseball Commissioner from ’71-’73, at this time, baseball leagues were centralized at the Spicer Avenue Complex having moved from the Pitt, Boro (Veterans) Park and Putnam Fields. Under Owen’s leadership, the complex achieved lighting for night games and built the first snack stand. Owen served as Trustee for the Pop Warner Football as well as serving on various committees. He will be missed announcing play by plays, known to everyone as the “Voice of the Eagles.”
He was a faithful communicant of Sacred Heart Church in South Plainfield, was Parish President from ’80-’83 and belonged to the Knights of Columbus. Owen enjoyed sports, was an avid stamp collector and loved to travel with his wife and friends, especially to Ireland.
Predeceased by first wife Brigid in 1995, second wife Regina Millward in 2021, and three siblings, Owen leaves behind his loving family; son Kevin Kelly (Linda) and their children Gloria and Natalie of Wellington, FL, Mary Ann Taylor (Duane,) their daughter Carrie Osborne (Randy,) and their children Julianna and Ruby of Tinton Falls, Brian Kelly (Linda) and their children, Christopher Kelly (Caitlin,) Stephanie, Daniel and Alexander of South Plainfield , Kathy Kelly-Simpson, her daughter Kelly and her fiancé Matthew Resende and daughter Bridget of South Plainfield and Riley, his four-legged best friend.
Visitation will be held in McCriskin-Gustafson Home for Funerals, 2425 Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ 07080 on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 from 4pm until 8pm.
Everyone is invited to gather directly to Sacred Heart Church on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 for a 10:00am Funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Church in South Plainfield. Owen will be laid to rest with his beloved first wife Brigid in the family plot of Holy Redeemer Cemetery, also in South Plainfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in Owen’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.StJude.org) or to the South Plainfield Junior Baseball Club, P.O. Box 166, South Plainfield, NJ 07080.