John R. "Jack" Kelly, 80, Bethlehem, passed away peacefully Tuesday at St. Luke's Hospital Anderson Campus surrounded by his family.
He was born in Chest Springs, son of the late Joseph Russell and Marie Eleanor (Schenk) Kelly. He married Mary Ellen (Boland), and they celebrated 57 years of marriage on June 11, 2012.
Jack will be lovingly remembered by his wife; a son, John R. Jr.; seven daughters: Marie S. (Don) Zaikowski, Monica A. (Dan) Ivory, Maureen P. (Walt) Conrad, Mary J. (Chuck) Rieg, Jeanne L. (Phil) Ivory, Jolene R. (Steve) Battitori and Joyce M. (Steve) Tulenko; 30 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; a brother, Gerald C. (Isabel); five sisters: Rita "Peg" Andres, Mary Lois (Bob) Gibbons, Stella "Sally" (Robert) Little, Elayne (Jack) Rieg and Constance "Connie" (Stan) Efferding; a brother-in-law, Gerald (Judy) Boland; a sister-in-law, Rose Boland; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by two sisters: Mary Janet Kelly and Rose Marie Link.
Jack was a 1950 graduate of Cresson High School and a Rensselaer Science & Math Honors awardee. He proudly served from 1952-54 in the U.S. Army in the Korean conflict, where he was twice awarded commendation letters for meritorious service, received a Commendation Ribbon with Medal for meritorious service, was nominated for a Bronze Star and achieved the rank of sergeant during his time in service.
Upon his return from Korea, Jack attended Penn State University, where he earned numerous academic honors, including the Scholastic Honors Scholarship Award and the Senatorial Scholastic Scholarship Award, while earning a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1959. He then attended New York University, where he earned an M.S. in electrical engineering in 1962 and went on to earn an advanced communication degree.
Jack's professional career began with Bell Laboratories and continued with AT&T, from where, after 30 years of recognized service, he retired as a director of administration and management support at AT&T Headquarters, Basking Ridge, N.J. He went on to found and operate Kel Tech Associates Construction Management Firm. Kel Tech niche-managed many nonprofit construction projects throughout northern New Jersey. He was most proud of the service he was able to provide to the Paterson Catholic Diocese and his lasting legacy through the church projects Kel Tech built and managed, which include St. Luke, Long Valley, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Flanders and a major church renovation for St. Nicholas, Passaic, N.J.
Service mission was very important to Jack. He sat on numerous boards, including as founding president of Middletown Helps Its Own Inc., Middletown, N.J., Middletown Township Committee and Community Affairs Council and Jaycees (1960s and 1970s), St. Mary Parish, New Monmouth, N.J., Parish Council and CCD director, Trenton Diocese Religious Education Executive Committee and Diocese Catholic Education Planning Committee, Trenton, N.J. (1960s and 1970s), St. Luke Parish Advisory Board, Long Valley, N.J. (1980s), East Allen Township, Northampton, Zoning Board (2000s), and multiple pro-life organizations throughout his life, both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Friends will be received from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at Connell Funeral Home, 245 E. Broad St., Bethlehem. A requiem Mass in the extraordinary form will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at St. Stephens of Hungary Catholic Church, 510 Union St., Allentown.
Memorial contributions may be made to Camelot for Children, a charitable organization which benefits children with serious, chronic and terminal illness and disabilities, 2354 W. Emmaus Ave., Allentown PA 18103, or Pennsylvanians for Human Life Wyoming Valley Chapter, 31 Hanover St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.
Send online condolences to www.connellfuneral.com.