OBITUARY AND PHOTOS: Former Shelton mayor dies

A former mayor of Shelton from the mid-1970s has died. Francis X. Kelley served in the city’s highest elected office from 1973-1977. Known as “Frank” to friends and acquaintances, he was a Democrat.

Services for Francis X. Kelley, a military veteran, will take place this summer at the National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass., according to his family. No contact information was provided by family members but they said anyone desiring to make a donation in his memory should do so to a charity of their choice.

Below is an obituary provided by his family as well as photos of the former mayor:

Francis X. Kelley

Francis X. Kelley, loving and devoted husband for 69 years to Mary A. (Freeman) Kelley, passed away at the age of 90 on Dec. 30, 2014, after a brief illness.

Frank was born in Dorchester, Mass. on Aug. 7, 1924, to John and Mary (Sullivan) Kelley. Frank was the third of six boys — John, Joseph, James, Timothy and Leo.

He grew up in Dorchester and entered the military in April of 1943. He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant as a navigator. Discharged in 1945, he joined the reserves, retiring as a captain in 1970.

Frank returned to civilian life, marrying Mary Freeman on March 5, 1946. Mary and Frank met while both were working at the local theater — Mary was the popcorn/candy girl and Frank the projectionist.

Frank furthered his education graduating in June 1950 from Tufts College and completing his master’s in education at Boston University in 1960.

Worked for GE, Avco, ITT

Frank was an administrator and consultant with more than 20 years of experience and accomplishments with three major corporations — General Electric, Avco-Lycoming and ITT Corp.

While at Avco-Lycoming, Frank was a manager in the Operational Missiles Subdivision for Titan and Atlas re-entry vehicle subsystems. He was involved with information data, budgets, contract compliance and hardware delivery.

He was the single point of contact for all Air Force agencies and contractors. Frank implemented training programs for Avco base activation crews, Air Training Command instructors and Strategic Air Command personnel.

He worked for nine years with the state of Connecticut as the dean of admissions at Waterbury State Technical College, and five years as the mayor of the city of Shelton.  He also served many years as the head of the Conservation Commission in Shelton, and on the Board of Education in Tewksbury, Mass.

Fishing, travel, music, dancing

Before and after retirement, Frank enjoyed living in Marshfield, Mass. He enjoyed fishing with his brother Leo and the competitive fishing with his neighbors. He was very active in the Rexhame Beach Association.

He also worked closely with the Parks and Recreation Commission in planting numerous shrubs and trees on land adjacent to the Rexhame Beach parking lot and South River to prevent erosion of the dunes and beach.

He taught his children the decisions we make and the actions we perform can save or deteriorate our environment.

Frank and Mary enjoyed traveling. They visited Europe several times and cruised the Caribbean.

Frank loved music. He enjoyed live music concerts and dancing. Even at 90, he and Mary would dance in the living room to the sounds of Lawrence Welk on the television.

Marco Island, Fla. was his last home. He loved the warmth and beauty. Frank was always actively involved and was the board member in his condo for a time. Frank enjoyed making new friends as well as seeing his old friends come visit.

Made a positive impact

He taught our family there was a big world out there you should interact with, enjoy, and make it a better place with the talents and resources you have. He not only taught that, but Frank was a fine example.

Francis X. Kelley made a positive impact in his 90 years of living. He changed lives, situations and was an inspiration to all. We will miss him but his love and spirit will always be with those he loved and the world he touched.


In addition to his wife Mary, he is survived by Francis X. Jr. and wife Denise (Keelan), and children Jack, Elizabeth and Andrew; Anne Mary, husband Charles Boyd and daughter Charlotte; Stephen J. and his son Sam; and Elaine M. and husband Timothy Perreault and children Brent, David, Lee, Shane, Rachel, Ben and Britney.

He also is survived by his brother James and wife Marlys, brother Timothy and wife Annetta, sister-in-law Mary Ellen (DiBasio), wife of his dearly departed brother Leo; and by many nieces, nephews, and seven great grandchildren. He also was predeceased by brothers John and Joseph.