Cover photo for James J. Kelly's Obituary
James J. Kelly Profile Photo

James J. Kelly

February 6, 1939 — July 14, 2020

James Kelly, 81 years old of Chester, entered into rest on Tuesday 14, 2020 at Garnett Health Center Middletown, NY. Son of the late William Kelly and Mary Kelly, nee Meaney, he was born on February 6, 1939 in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. After a brief stint in the Irish Army, James emigrated to the USA in 1957. He was drafted into US Army and served from Jan. 1962 to Dec. 1963. During that time, he was a proud member of the 82nd Airborne Division. James received his GED from New York State. From 1972-1974 he attended Rockland County Community College earning an AAS. In 1974 - 1976 he went to Iona College earning a BS and continued on to L.I.U. C.W. Post in 1976-1978 earning a MPA. James joined the New York City Police Department in 1968 earning the rank of Detective. He retired in 1988 where he joined the US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration as an analyst. James worked with the DEA for 15 years before retiring. James was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. Survivors include his loving wife, Bridget Kelly; his children: William and his wife Julia of New Hampton, NY; and Maria Morris and her husband Todd of Monroe, NY; his brother Billy and his wife Chris of Iselin NJ; his sister Maria of Wicklow Ireland, and his brother John "Jerry" of Wexford, Ireland; his grandchildren: William, Samantha, John and Joseph along with many nieces and nephews. James was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 1 Monroe, NY from 1978 until his passing. He received the Burns - Hayes award, the highest award bestowed upon a Hibernian. James served as Div. 1 President from 1996-97, District 8 Director 1992-94, AOH County Board President 2001-2005, AOH Historian from 1990 -2014. He founded the Fleming Scholarship Fund. In 1992 He was the Grand Marshall of the Mid Hudson Saint Patrick's Parade. James was a bagpiper in the AOH Pipe and Drums for 38 years. He taught new pipers and mentored bagpipers from West Point from 1991- 96 Outside of work, he had many interests. He loved to play golf, tend to his gardening, and especially loved to research and write about Irish recipients of the Medal of Honor from the American Civil War. He also loved to watch soccer games when he could. A Public Wake will be held from the hours of 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Sunday, July 19 at Flynn Funeral & Cremation Memorial Centers, Inc. located 139 Stage Road, Monroe, New York, 10950. A private Funeral Mass will be held, at 11:00 am, on Monday, July 20, at St. Columba R.C. Church, located 27 High Street, Chester, New York, 10918. A burial will follow at Orange County Veterans Cemetery, located 111 Craigville Road, Goshen, New York, 10924. In order to avoid overcrowding and accommodate everyone wishing to pay their respects to Mr. Kelly we ask that you email with your full name, telephone number, and address (including any additional individuals in your group) with a preferred time slot. Be advised due to continued restrictions visitations will be limited to 15 minutes in order to accommodate additional groups. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation. Please keep Jim and his family in your prayers during this most difficult time. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Thomas F. Flynn and Brendan T. Flynn and the staff of Flynn Funeral & Cremation Memorial Centers, Inc. To offer an online memorial please visit

When: Sunday, July 19, 2020 2:00pm -

Second Visitation
When: Sunday, July 19, 2020 6:00pm -

When: Monday, July 20, 2020 11:00am
Location: St Columba Church (Chester NY)
Address: St Columba Church (Chester NY)

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