Pat Kelly died peacefully, with his wife by his side, at his home at The Fountains, Sarasota on July 27th. A first generation American, raised in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, his life was a model for the “American dream”. The second eldest of a large Irish-American family, he told stories of his first job, delivering telegrams for Western Union as a kid, “I loved that job, and learned every inch of New York City.” After attending Bishop Laughlin High School, he served in the Army’s 133rd Field Artillery Battalion campaign through France, England, Germany and Austria during WWII.
The GI Bill provided Pat a path to the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a degree in geology and gained entrance to the oil industry. After working in the jungles of Sumatra as a seismic interpreter, Pat joined an exploration team based in Billings, Montana, where he met and later married his co-worker, Sharlee. He said that their romance developed over a series of ski trips. Pat and Sharlee were married July 13th, and were delighted to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary together this year. They raised three sons, of whom Pat was immensely proud, and lived all over the western United States as well as Surrey, England and Bogota, Columbia, before retiring to Sarasota in 1988. An Exxon Annuitant, Pat led exploration and discovery efforts in the North Sea, Irish Sea, Libya and off the coast of Columbia before retiring with over 35 years of service.
A focused geologist, loyal husband and attentive father, Pat was also a determined athlete. Downhill skiing, golf and tennis were his “go-to” sports, but even after turning in his skis, clubs, and racquet (at the age of 92), Pat was game for a little competition at the Fountain’s Ping-Pong table! He was a member of the Bent Tree Country Club for many years and also served on the Bent Tree Resident’s Board. A world traveler, avid reader, history buff and investor, Pat started most days looking at the market news before setting off on his adventures. Over the last few months, he enjoyed a culture trip to St. Augustine, Florida and rooting for his favorites at the British Open and Wimbledon. He schooled his grandkids each week on political, financial and athletic events during family Zoom calls!
Pat is survived by his wife, Julia Sharlee Kelly of Sarasota, Florida, their son, David Kelly of Asheville, North Carolina and their son, Kevin Kelly and his wife, Stephanie, of La Jolla, California. Mr. Kelly was pre-deceased by his son, John Kelly of San Diego, California. He will be missed by his grandchildren, Scott Patrick Kelly of Brooklyn, New York and Kaitlin Marie Kelly of Los Angeles, California and his brothers and sisters-in-law; David & Shirley Shane of Floweree, Montana, Gail Smith of Woodinville, Washington, and John Gronowski of Northport, Florida. “Uncle Pat” was beloved by his large family. His many nieces and nephews, grand and great-grand nieces reside across the country in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
A Funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church at 425 S. Tamiami Trail in Osprey Florida on Friday, August 26th at 11 AM and will be followed by an interment ceremony at Sarasota National Cemetery at 1 PM. Friends are also invited to attend a Celebration of Life at The Fountains, 3240 Lake Point Boulevard in Sarasota on Saturday, August 27th. Arrangements for Mr. Kelly are being addressed by Your Traditions Funeral Home of Sarasota. They can be reached at (941) 921-4247.