On October 15, 2012, Robert Kelley passed away at his Rutland home after a courageous battle with a long illness. Robert was 84 years old.
Robert was born to John and Mary (Bednarck) Kelley on the Valley View Farm in Dorset Hollow on May 30, 1928. He was raised on the farm with his siblings, Bud (John), George, Katherine and Elizabeth. Bob attended Burr and Burton Seminary, class of 1948, and continued to work the family farm in the shadow of Netop Mountain until he met Mary T. Ryan and moved to Florence, Vt., to work on the Keenan Farm. In 1959, he married Mary T. Ryan and later moved to Rutland. He and Mary raised three children, Christopher, Peter and Mary Katherine. He worked for Swift Meat and later for Cartier Meats and continued working there until his retirement.
Robert was an avid reader, enjoying fiction and non-fiction. He also looked forward to every season, sugaring season, deer season and fishing season. His favorite place to visit was Dorset. He looked forward to deer hunting season just so he could have the opportunity to hike to the sugarwoods, the green camp and the Riley Grey. He enjoyed blackberry picking in Dorset and Brandon, apple picking and strawberry picking with his grandchildren. Bob enjoyed trout fishing at the Girl Scout camp in Wheelerville and in Dorset Hollow.
Bob did not like to let a summer pass by without a taste of baked stuffed lobster. He enjoyed visiting Wells, Maine, and vacationing with his family. He also enjoyed watching the Red Sox. Robert was not afraid of hard work and would lead by example with his children and grandchildren, instilling a sense of integrity, hard work and determination into everything he undertook. He was a great gardener and a wonderful carpenter. Robert was also an animal lover and was known to adopt the neighborhood stray cats and the occasional raccoon. He loved his cat, Fair Haven, who now resides in Brandon. Robert was a longtime member of the Elks Club in Rutland and he belonged to Christ the King Parish.
Above all, Robert believed in family and family values. He enjoyed Sunday dinners and opportunities to spend time with his family. He was an excellent cook and a wonderful baker. His apple pies were a thing of beauty.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary T. (Ryan) Kelley. He was also predeceased by his parents and siblings.
He is survived by his son, Christopher Kelley of Albany, N.Y.; his son, Peter Kelley and his wife, Monda, of Brandon and their two children, Robert T. and Ryan; and his daughter, Mary Katherine (Kelley) Olson and her husband, Edward, of Rutland and their daughter, Anna.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland. Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Christ the King Church in Rutland. Officiating will be Rev. Justin Baker, pastor.
Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery with a reception to follow.
Contributions may be made to Christ the King School, South Main Street, Rutland, VT 05701.