Sky Scene 06

Tom Kelly

October 7, 1948 ~ March 19, 2022 (age 73)


Tom Kelly age 73, died on March 19, 2022 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN due to Multiple

Myeloma surrounded by family. Tom was endlessly optimistic, and never gave up hope that a

treatment would be discovered that would allow him more time with his family or that research

related to his personal fight would allow others to live longer.

Tom was born in Chicago Illinois on October 7, 1948 to Louise (Gilsdorf) and Robert E. Kelly.

Tom was the second of six siblings. Tom was the only boy among his four sisters Sharyn,

Denise, Janine, and Lauren, he greatly enjoyed his role as the little prince of his family. He

developed his love of sports and the Beatles, and was an unabashed class clown in the

Chicago suburb of Rolling Meadows. While a student at St. Viator High School in Arlington

Heights, he was enjoying an evening out with friends who were putting firecrackers in

mailboxes. When a neighbor threatened to call the police and sirens were heard, someone

suggested they hide at the home of Peggy O'Connor. As our dad always teased our mother, if

he had waited for the police he would have been quickly released, but instead he got a life


Tom and Peggy married in Illinois on August 23, 1969. Tom finished his education at Northern

Illinois University with a Marketing major. While raising their seven children, Tom had a wide

array of occupations. He worked as retail manager, a stock broker, and a tax preparer, but he

really shined as a salesman. Tom was charming, funny, and very smart all of which helped him

achieve great success in truck leasing sales. He later went on to work in real estate as well, but

nothing was more important to Tom than his family. He cherished celebrating the birthdays,

graduations, and accomplishments of his loved ones. He found endless amusement in his

grandchildren and it’s difficult to imagine a “Papa” that was more adored. He held sleepy babies

for hours, helped kids catch fish, told them jokes, watched special tv shows with them snug on

his lap, took walks while holding their hands and waved goodbye until he could no longer see

their little faces in their car windows. He loved to be a knight in shining armor and jumped to the

rescue when cars broke down or things were going badly. He hated to give bad news and loved

to make people happy. Tom was a fantastic story teller, and we were lucky to hear his stories

many times so he can be rest assured that they will live on for many years to come because we

had ample opportunity to memorize them. He loved to go for walks, stopping to talk to

whomever he encountered and checking out all the changes in his neighborhoods in Arlington

Heights, Illinois, La Valle, Wisconsin and later in his adopted town of Spooner. He relished

special meals with family and always appreciated Chicago style pizza and a good Black Cow.

He let us know when a meteor shower was coming up so we could watch the stars together. He

never said no to a boat ride. He was a fantastic trip planner and loved to go on adventures near

and far. No family celebration will feel complete without him here with us. He was a character;

he kept us laughing, kept us guessing, made us worry and told us he loved us every time we


Tom is survived by his very patient wife of over fifty-two years, Margaret “Peggy” Kelly née

O’Conner, his seven children Tracie, Tommy, Laura, Tricia, Tony, Vince and Paul, his beloved

grandchildren, his four sisters, his best friend, his daughters and sons-in-law and so many other

cherished friends and family. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother Robert

Edward, brother-in-law David and Peggy’s family.

A small Mass was celebrated in Spooner in his honor on Friday April 1. He will be interred at a

later date in Illinois with his parents. The world was a better place with him in it. He will be sorely

missed and dearly loved for the rest of our lives.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tom Kelly, please visit our floral store.


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