A Tribute to Michael J. Kelly

As mentioned in the What have we learned from the test results? article, Mike Kelly did much of the conventional research that confirms the theory that Joseph Hadley of Westchester Co., New York was the son of George Hadley, as the DNA test results suggest. Mike's mother was a Hadley. He spent a lot of time helping other researchers with their specific questions and problems.

Mike passed away Saturday, August 11, 2012 in his home at the age of 79. He will be greatly missed. The article below was written by one of his SAR chapter compatriots.


Michael Jean Kelly
By Glenn W. Gohr

Michael Jean Kelly, president of the Ozark Mountain Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, Springfield, Missouri, passed away Saturday, August 11, 2012 in his home at the age of 79. Born in Waco, Texas, January 15, 1933 to Michael and Bonnie Jean (Hadley) Kelly, he was a retired local pastor with the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church and an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Springfield.

Mike Kelly joined the SAR on February 28, 1983 (which was 29 years ago) and was a life member. His Revolutionary War patriot ancestor was Cason Scott (ca. 1755-1807) of Sumter District, South Carolina, who was a sergeant in General Henderson's Brigade in the South Carolina militia. He loved every minute of his involvement in the SAR. In addition to being president of the Ozark Mountain Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, he was also serving as the Senior President of the William Freeman Society of the Children of the American Revolution. Mike Kelly had previously served as Ozark Mountain Chapter SAR vice president, another term as chapter president, chapter secretary, genealogist, and chaplain, and also had served a term as MOSSAR secretary.

A celebration of his life and his journey was held on Thursday, August 16th at Wesley United Methodist Church in Springfield, Missouri. Color guard members from Ozark Mountain Chapter SAR posted colors for the memorial service. Former NSSAR President General David Appleby shared his remembrances of Mike and explained the significance of the SAR and DAR. He recited the SAR Pledge and recessional to illustrate the principles and ideals of SAR and its role in preserving our country's freedoms. He also shared how Mike Kelly served as State Secretary during the time Appleby served as MOSSAR President, and Mike's assistance at the state level was one of the steps that helped him to reach the point of becoming President General of NSSAR. He valued Mike's friendship and dry wit and humor. Mike's pastor and others also shared remembrances at the memorial service.

Mike Kelly is survived by his wife of 52 years, Audrey; daughters Robin Pritt, Jill Green and Mary Bibey; son Jon; and ten grandchildren. A scholarship has been established in Mike Kelly's name with the Ozark Mountain Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, P.O. Box 1421, Springfield, MO 65801 or donations may be made to Springfield Habitat for Humanity or the charity of your choice.