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Raphael Michael KellyFebruary 26, 1940 ~ April 14, 2017 (age 77)
Raphael Michael Kelly, 77, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL passed away on April 14, 2017 after a valiant battle with cancer. Nicknamed Ray, but affectionately known as Muldoon, the Commissioner, Lutienant, Irish or, of course, The King, he was born Brooklyn, New York on February 26, 1940. Raised in Garden City, New York, Ray graduated from Chamanade high school and then attended the University of Notre Dame, where his love of all things Irish began. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1961, he joined the Marines and after 5 years departed service with a rank of Captain. Ray began his successful career as a Financial Advisor in 1965, retiring as Senior Vice President of Investments from UBS in 2011. He was a highly respected securities industry leader and served as Chairman of the Southern District of the National Association of Security Dealers. Ray was also active civically. He was President of the Duval County American Cancer Society and Chairman of the Board for the University Club of Jacksonville, Florida. He was also appointed to the Ponte Vedra Board of Adjustments. And, of course, he remained faithful and dedicated to his Alma Mater and served as President of the Notre Dame Alumni Association International.
In 1964 he married his wife of 52.9 years Mary “Molly” Foley Kelly. Together, Molly and Ray raised three wise, wonderful and witty daughters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where they have lived since 1970. His daughters are his oldest Grace Gambel (Patrick), Jean “Beaner” Brown (Greg) and Elizabeth “Buffy or Pooh Bear” Kennedy (Jeffrey). He has 8 grandchildren who will miss and always fondly remember their “King”.
Beyond his many accomplishments in life, Ray was known for his larger than life personality, love of travel and golf, and his complete lack of handiness. He loved Ponte Vedra and spending his summers in Linville, NC – and all the cherished friendships he had in both of his home cities and across the U.S. made throughout childhood, high school, college, the Marines and his career. Friendships and time with the boys were so special to Ray, especially since his retirement which allowed him to have lunch with his crew every Monday and Thursday at Aqua Grill, faithfully served by Pumpkin.
Ray is survived by his wife and three daughters and his eight grandchildren. Starting with the eldest Patrick Ryan Gambel (who, incidentally, lives in New Orleans and sells insurance – so let us know if he can help you out – wink, wink), Mary Ellen Gambel, Katherine Grace Gambel, Grace Elizabeth Brown, Teresa Ann Brown, William Raphael Brown, Kayla Grace Kennedy and Shane Patrick Kennedy. He is also survived by his siblings Geraldine Ann Kelly, John Stephen Kelly and Kathleen Eleanor Kelly; brother in laws Samuel John Foley and Michael Francis Foley; nephew Samuel John Foley (Diane) and niece Samantha Foley Davidson and grand nephews Samuel and Connor Foley. He is preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Eleanor Kelly, brother Albert Kelly and sister in law Kathleen Foley.
A Memorial Mass to celebrate Ray’s life will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church of Ponte Vedra Beach Florida, at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Community Hospice & Palliative Care of North Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville FL 32257.