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John Vincent “Jack” Kelly
Palm Coast Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020 1 month ago

John Vincent “Jack” Kelly

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John Vincent “Jack” Kelly passed away early on the morning of July 12th at Sabal Palms Assisted Living & Memory Care. 
In Memoriam:

John Vincent “Jack” Kelly
1935-2020

John Vincent “Jack” Kelly passed away early on the morning of July 12th at Sabal Palms Assisted Living & Memory Care.  He was four months shy of his 85th birthday. 

Jack grew up in the Valley Forge area of Pennsylvania and attended Phoenixville High School where he lettered in basketball and met his future wife, Iris.  He graduated from Cornell University in 1958 with a degree in Civil Engineering and took a job with the California Department of Transportation.  He ran three survey crews for the State during the initial planning and construction of the Interstate Highway System.

In 1967 Jack was hired by HNTB, one of the oldest and largest engineering firms in the country.  During his time with HNTB, he specialized in highway and bridge construction and lead projects that included the New Jersey Turnpike, the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Atlanta Hartsfield Airport and the East-West Expressway in Orlando (now known as the 408).

After moving his family around the country several times to work on these major projects, Jack settled in Flagler Beach in 1975.  While his initial role here was to serve as an expert witness for ITT Community Development Corporation in a lawsuit, a few years later he took a full-time role with the company.  As Director of Engineering for ITT CDC, he guided the development of Palm Coast’s infrastructure.

Jack was a community servant volunteering for numerous beach cleanups, serving on the Flagler Beach City Commission and even providing free design services for Flagler Beach’s first dune walks.  Much of his community service came through his membership in the Flagler County Rotary Club, serving in multiple leadership roles including a term as president.  He was also a founding member of the Flagler County Education Foundation.

Jack Kelly lived a life of quiet significance taking greater delight in the accomplishments of others than he did in his own.  His impact on our community and even our country will remain long after his passing.

He loved fishing, especially surf fishing, and had an amazing ability to read the shoreline to determine the best spot to cast his line.  When he wasn’t fishing, he was a voracious reader.  He was always reading something, whether it was the local paper or a novel by one of his favorite writers such as Vince Flynn or James Patterson.

When Jack went out to dinner, he loved a good steak – the bigger, the better.  After he had ordered a custom cut twenty-two ouncer on multiple occasions, Jim’s River House (Only long-time residents will remember that name.) wound up putting it on the menu and naming it after him.

Most of all he loved his family.  He loved family gatherings of all kinds.  Most family vacations involved packing up the car and heading back to Pennsylvania to visit relatives (No small feat with five kids and two dogs.)  Despite the great diversity in his children’s personalities, he knew how to be the father that each of them needed.

Jack Kelly lived a life of quiet significance taking greater delight in the accomplishments of others than he did in his own.  His impact on our community and even our country will remain long after his passing.

He is survived by and will be terribly missed by his wife of 62 years, Iris, his children Amy, Michael, Patrick, Daniel & Jennifer, as well as eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

 

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