William J. Kelly


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of William (Bill) Kelly on April 14, 2019. He was 88 years old.  Bill was born on November 20, 1930 in the Bronx, NY to William and Marie (Lavin) Kelly, both of whom had emigrated here from Ireland in the early 1900s.  In 1939 his father died, leaving his mother with 5 children. She soon found love again and married James Smart, who provided a loving home for the family in Newark, NJ.  Bill had many fond memories growing up with his three sisters and one brother.

Bill was proud of his service in the National Guard during the 1950s, while simultaneously pursuing an Engineering degree at Newark College of Engineering, graduating in 1958. Throughout his career Bill worked as a professional engineer at several leading NJ engineering firms designing critical infrastructure throughout the state. In 1985 he formed his own company W.J. Kelly Engineering Associates in Parsippany, NJ.  After retirement he continued to consult for several municipalities.

Bill met his wife Rose in 1954 at the “Polish Dance Hall” in Passaic, NJ. They married on Sept 10, 1955. Most of their married life was spent living in Pompton Plains, NJ where many lifelong friendships were made. Bill and Rose shared 62 wonderful years together.  Bill was a proud Father, and a loving “Pop Pop” with a strong Catholic faith. He coached little league and loved family gatherings – home and at the NJ shore – where everyone looked forward to his impromptu “words of wisdom.”  He will be remembered for his love of family, golf, baseball, wine and his quick wit. He provided much love, laughter, and a moral compass to his family, and will be forever in our hearts. 

Bill is survived by his three children: daughter and son-in-law, Erin and William Vonderhorst of Warwick, NY; his daughter and son-in-law, Colleen and Michael Caravaglia of NYC; and his son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Laura Kelly of Montville, NJ; six grandchildren, Maegan & Max Vonderhorst, Julia & Madeleine Kelly and Angela & Joseph Caravaglia; one brother, Jack Kelly; and many beloved nieces, nephews and life long friends. Bill was preceded in death by his wife Rose, and sisters Dolores Lynch, Peggy Ward, and Marie Havron.  

A funeral mass will take place on Saturday, June 1st at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Stephen’s Catholic Church in Warwick, NY. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bill’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bill and Rose’s favorite charity, the Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.


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