American Patriotic 10

Michael Joseph Kelly

August 24, 1945 ~ February 6, 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Michael Kelly Obituary

Michael Kelly, age 78 of Wilmington, DE, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 6th, after a 5-month battle with cancer.

He was born in Wilmington, one of 13 children of the late James and Alice (Sevier) Kelly; was a proud graduate of Salesianum, class of 1963; a veteran with the US Air Force; and a graduate of Goldey-Beacom college. Michael went on to enjoy a rewarding 47-year career with the Briggs Company, starting in an entry-level purchasing position and retiring as VP of Sales.

Above all else, Mike was focused on his family and his Catholic faith.   He was a devoted husband and father who always made an effort to “show up”, coaching his sons in youth sports, taking them to Phillies games and other sporting events, numerous camping trips and visits to the Delaware beaches, and just being present.  One of his most treasured roles was that of a hands-on “Granddad”. His presence at every volleyball tournament, little league game and piano recital was a testament to his unwavering support and love for his grandchildren. He celebrated their victories and applauded their talents, leaving an indelible mark on their lives.

A true sports enthusiast, Mike was a loyal Philadelphia sports fan, with an unparalleled passion for the Phillies. The cheers and groans heard from his living room during games were a familiar soundtrack to those who knew him best. A lifelong card player, he loved his poker club and a good game night with friends or family.  He loved Motown and rock ‘n roll music from the early sixties and was an avid dancer in his prime, best known for his James Brown impersonation. 

In his post-retirement years, he leaned into his love of golf and later embraced pickleball, arranging his weekly schedule around available court times. He enjoyed taking trips to the Delaware beaches and would settle in with his latest narrative nonfiction book and a cold beer at sunset as crowds on the beach thinned.

To the many lives that he touched over the years, Mike will be remembered as a truly likable man, a serial extrovert with a friendly demeanor who loved meeting and talking to people, always ready with a smile and a story. 

He is survived by his sons, Michael Jr. (Jennifer), and Matthew (Jennifer); his grandchildren, Ava, Colin, and Luke; brother, Edward; and sister, Teresa (Nolan); as well as many members of his extended family.

In addition to his parents, Michael was preceded in death by his beloved wife and soulmate, Mildred “Molly” (McGarry) Kelly who he was married to for 53 years.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00pm on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at St. John the Beloved Church, 907 Milltown Road, Wilmington, DE 19808, where family and friends may visit beginning at 10:30am. Interment will be held privately at a later date in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mike’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105, or to Delaware Hospice, 630 Churchmans Road, Newark DE 19702.


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February 13, 2024

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
St. John the Beloved Church
907 Milltown Road, Sherwood Park
Wilmington, DE 19808

Mass of Christian Burial
February 13, 2024

12:00 PM
St. John the Beloved Church
907 Milltown Road, Sherwood Park
Wilmington, DE 19808

Private Interment at a Later Date

Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery
2465 Chesapeake City Road
Bear, DE 19701


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856

Delaware Hospice
630 Churchmans Road, Suite 200, Newark DE 19702


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