Milton W. Kelly


Feb. 10, 2018 — Milton W. Kelly, 96, passed away at home in Florence on Jan. 30, 2018, surrounded by family.

He was born Oct. 13, 1921, in Devils Lake, ND, the son of Milton G. Kelly and Sybil Baker Kelly.

He finished high school in Devils Lake and was awarded a scholarship to Harvard College from which he graduated early to serve in World War II. He served in Central America as a cryptographer in the AACS (Army Air Corps System) of the Caribbean Defense System.

He has been a participant in the Harvard Study of Adult Development for the last 77 years.

After the war, Milt took law under the G.I. Bill at the University of Minnesota Law School. He became a casualty claims attorney in the insurance industry, finishing his career as vice president with the Employer’s Reinsurance Corporation in Kansas City, Mo.

On May 9, 1947, he married Mari Jane Ludden in Minneapolis, Minn. They had three children: Michael T. Kelly (Trish) of Florence, Sybil Kelly Baker (Terry) of San Jose, Calif., and Ann L. Kelly of Florence.

He is also survived by three grandchildren: Alison, Matt and Amanda; and two great-granddaughters: Delainey and Dailey.

He was preceded in death by Mari Jane on March 17, 2013.

A celebration of Milt’s life was held Aug. 12, 2014, at Driftwood Shores, attended by Milt, his children and their spouses, his grandchildren, and many other family members and friends.

Milt was loved by many and he always greeted family, friends and strangers with a twinkle in his eye and a wonderful smile. He wished to stay in his home as long as he could, and he was able to do so with the help of his daughter, Ann, for many years, and with the assistance in the last couple of years of his son and daughter-in-law and his caretaker/friend, Ed Denoyer.

Milt and Mari Jane spent many happy retirement years in Florence making friends, working out at Coastal Fitness, following the stock market, having family and friends come for visits and playing hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Cribbage and “Oh, Hell” card games and Bridge.

Watching TV with his daughter’s dog, Rougie, nestled in his lap brought him much comfort in the last couple of years. Milt especially loved visits from his children and their spouses, grandchildren, great-granddaughters, cousins Barbara, Jack and Ellen, his niece and nephew, Sue and Pat, and his “angels,” Pam, Renee, Leonor and Maggie, during which his kitchen was filled with cards, conversation and laughter.

Milt was a terrific letter writer and continued to enjoy writing and receiving letters until the very end of his life.

Another celebration of Milt’s life will be planned at a future date.

Burns’s Riverside Chapel Florence Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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