James Joseph Kelly Jr., 83, of Hendersonville, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, February 6, 2010, after a lengthy battle with Parkinsonís Disease.
James was born on July 23, 1926, in Lansford, Pennsylvania, to James and Rose Kelly. A stellar student, he graduated from high school and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Defending our country as a machine gunner, he fought in the Battle of Okinawa, receiving the Purple Heart. After the war ended, James returned to Pennsylvania and went to Kings College in Wilkesbarre, PA, on the G.I. Bill. Graduating with high honors, he later completed a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology at the College of William and Mary.
He married Mary Lou McCormick in 1955 and began a 21 year career as a school Psychologist. By the time of his retirement, he had risen to the role of Chief Psychologist for an area of Western New York, while residing in Orchard Park, New York.
After retirement in 1979, he moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina where he resided until his death. He is survived by his loving wife Mary Lou, with whom he shared 54 years of marriage. They are proud parents of six children, including John and wife Janet of Boerne, TX, Brian and wife Susan of Hampton, VA, Shawn and husband Fe of Columbus, OH, Ellen of Nashville, TN, Peggy of Hendersonville, NC, and Michael and wife Cammie of Dallas, NC. James and Mary Lou count 21 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
He will be remembered as the proud and loving patriarch of his large family, as a battle tested Marine Corps Veteran from the Greatest Generation, as a faithful Catholic and as someone who combined a strong will with humble sacrifice.
In view of his long and faithful attendance at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, a Memorial Mass will be conducted on Tuesday February 9th, 2010, at 10:00 A.M. in Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at the church. Burial will follow the service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Military honors will be conducted by Hubert M. Smith American Legion Post 77, Hedrick-Rhodes Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5206 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 14. A visitation will be held in the Chapel at Forest Lawn Mortuary on Monday February 8th, 2010, from 6-8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to a charity of choice.