James Francis Kelly, “Jimmy” of Randolph, formerly of Brockton and Jamaica Plain gained his angel wings on Oct 3rd after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. Beloved husband of Gail (Moore) for 46 years. Loving daddy of 7 daughters- Donna Stilphen (Richard), Carol Borden (Jackson), Linda Clark (David), Kristine Huber (Scott), Corrina Kelly-Dias (Jose Jr) , Jamie Reardon (Daniel) and Ellen Kelly. Proud pap of Matthew, Andrew, Tiffany, Felicia, Christa , Kevin, Nicole, Christopher Jr, David Jr, Michaela, Phillip-Lewis, Rileigh and Emma. His great grandchildren- Nathaniel, Trinity, Jaliyah, Johanse, Aniyah, Amelia, Noah, Leo, Jordon, Aliyah, Hunter, Carmen and Isabella. Brother of Patricia Karp (Leonard) and Ann Calla. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Philip and Ellen, his siblings – Paul, Bernard, Edward, John Thomas, Robert, Philip Jr as well as his granddaughter Heather and his son in laws Richard Stilphen and David Squibb Sr. Jimmy was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the very beginning of the pandemic and bravely faced hospitalization alone for 6 weeks. He taught himself to walk again. Shortly after in the fall of 2020, he became a paraplegic. Despite his multiple setbacks and medical complications, he never stopped fighting and never gave up on his faith.
He was raised in Jamaica Plain, one of ten children of Irish immigrants- The Kelly’s of Washington St. His father was from Co. Donegal and his mother from Co. Galway. His parents worked for Our Lady of Lourdes church and all 10 kids attended Catholic School. He was Boston Irish through and through and very proud of his Irish roots. St. Patrick’s Day was one of his favorite holidays and bigger than Christmas in the Kelly home. He would cook a huge, boiled dinner and always had his Irish bread and half-moons from Greenhills Bakery. The Irish Hit Parade could be heard playing loudly where Jimmy refused hearing aids.
He could be a stubborn man and had no problem telling you like it is but despite his tough and strong appearance, Jimmy had a soft exterior and a heart of gold. He was the type of man who would give you the shirt off his back and always showed kindness to those in need even if he was struggling. To him- family was everything and to his family he was their oak- strong, proud and unbreakable. He loved to tease and make people laugh,always a jokester. Jimmy taught each one of his grandkids and great grandkids to stick out their tongues, blow raspberries and to give bunny ears leading to many funny family photos over the years. His daughters will never forget his daddisms growing up – “If it’s free, it’s for me” and “Do you live in a barn? ” being just a few. He loved movies- the Godfather 1 and 2 but never three which he would tell you was “crap”. He related his life to that of George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, would watch it year-round, quoting it word for word. He was a lover of 50’s and 60’s music and named his daughters after songs from that era. He loved the Beach Boys and would tell anyone who listened how big they would have been if the Beatles hadn’t invaded America. He had a passion for history/trivia and competing with his daughters during jeopardy. He won so many radio contests, one had to change its prize allowance per person. He loved travel in his younger years going to Ireland with his mother, Canada, Times Square to see the ball drop, Maine and most recently Seattle with his daughters. He enjoyed classic cars, had a love of the beach, ice cream, collecting records, cooking – he was famous for his meatballs and everyone came home for his stuffing on Thanksgiving. Jimmy worked for Metropolitan Furniture previously and Seserman Towing in Milton before being hired by the MBTA over 30 years ago as an electrical worker out of the Everett Shops. He retired 7 years ago and was the oldest man in his IBEW union.
He reconnected with his teenage love in the 1970’s. Gail and Jim had a love story that could rally Ally and Noah in the Notebook. They would quarrel over the dumbest things, but they had a true deep love and always made up right away. They married on his birthday, and he would tell everyone it was the best and worst birthday gift he ever received. Despite this joke, He loved Gail more than anything in this world. They battled cancer together; Gail also being diagnosed in 2015 and continued fighting until his last breath. His family will miss their Irish Angel. He was the best daddy and husband in the world. Our family kindly ask all attending services to wear green if possible where he had a love of Ireland and her “40 shades of green”. This is a celebration of our hero and a selfless life. We welcome stories and happy memories. In lieu of flowers, please donate to: The Italian Home for Children 1125 Centre St, Jamaica Plain , MA 02130 in memory of James Kelly.
Funeral from the Robert J. Lawler & Crosby Funeral Home, 1803 Centre St. West Roxbury on Monday October 10, at 9:00 am. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrted in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Jamaica Plain at 10:00 am. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours in the funeral home on Sunday October 9, from 3:00 to 7:00 pm Interment St. Mary's Cemetery Randolph.