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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Edmund “Pat” Hamilton Kelly ’62

Edmund “Pat” Hamilton Kelly passed away peacefully with his family by his side on the morning of February 5, 2021. He passed at the age of 86 after a long illness at Green Ridge Village in Newville, PA. He was born June 30, 1934 in Delaware, Ohio, the youngest son of the late Ruth Curran Kelly and Albert Rice Kelly.

After the untimely death of his father, his mother Ruth remarried the late Luther Sheets. Pat grew up in Kilbourne, Ohio on their pastoral family farm set close to the banks of his beloved Alum Creek. Pat graduated from Elm Valley High School, Class of 1952.

To satisfy a desire to “sail the seven seas,” Pat served a four year tour in the US Navy, stationed mostly in Yokosuka, Japan. It was in those years he become known simply as “Kelly”. Through the aid of the GI Bill, he attended Antioch College. The unique Antioch co-op work study program introduced Kelly to the United Nations in New York City, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.

These experiences, and a summer of Chinese language study at Yale University, sparked an interest in international affairs that led to a 25 year career as a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State. Kelly and his family served overseas in Seoul, Korea; Vientiane, Laos; Lima, Peru; and Okinawa, Japan with the balance of assignments within the State Department in Washington, DC.

Following his rewarding career in civil service, he moved to the private sector and worked for 9 years in association management. He particularly enjoyed his leadership role as the Executive Director for the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics. He later added a third dimension to his professional journey pursuing his interest in law. He eventually retired after 8 years as the legal assistant to the General Counsel for Nuclear Fuel Services.

Throughout his life and career Kelly was known for his gentle kindness, natural curiosity, his quick wit that reflected his sharp intellect, and his powerful prose. He always instinctively knew the perfect thing to say or insight to share for every occasion.

Outside of work, Kelly was an adventurist who loved to travel and try new things. He had a passion for pursuing unique interests such as ice skating, commuting into DC on his Vespa, flying ultralight planes, and his greatest escape, captaining his houseboat on the Potomac River. In later years, Kelly perfected his notorious spin serve in ping pong and hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail in Cumberland County, PA with fellow seniors from his Green Ridge Village community.

Kelly loved his family deeply and was a very proud grandfather. He is survived by his loving wife of over 60 years, Kathryn “Kitty” Barrick Kelly, son Sean Hamilton Kelly (Suzanne) and two grandchildren, Shannon and Scott Kelly.

He was predeceased by his brother David A. Kelly (Marge) and their son Charles “Chuck” Kelly, and their grandson Ryan Kelly and Kelly’s step-brothers Henry Sheets, Ed Sheets and step-sister Helen (Sheets) Fleming, and step-nephews Michael Sheets, Dick Fleming.

“Uncle Pat” is remembered fondly by his niece Ruth Ann Kelly, nephew Gene A. Kelly and family including grand-nephew and grand-nieces Gabriel Kelly, Stephanie Kelly, and Allison Kelly, Jolynn Zawilski as well as many step-nephews and nieces including Vickie Sheets, Luke Sheets, Nick Sheets, Col. Amanda Sheets, Bob and Bill Fleming.

A Celebration of Kelly’s full and distinguished life will be held in the future at the discretion of the family.

Condolences can be expressed at

Donations may be made in his memory to the Green Ridge Village Fund, 210 Big Spring Road, Newville, PA 17241 (check payable to Green Ridge Village, on memo line note GRV Fund in memory of Edmund Kelly) Alternatively donations can be made securely online at: choosing the “Green Ridge Village” community and designating “In Memory of Edmund Kelly”.