Jack Kelly, 85 of Madison, a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother passed away Monday, March 12, 2018 in the loving arms of his family.
Jack and his brother, Ron, were raised by a wonderful working mother, Esther, who instilled the strong values of family, ethics and plain old hard work. He grew up in the Dayton Street area before moving to the Camp Randall neighborhood. Sports were always his pastime, no matter what the season.
He met the love of his life, Lee McGann, while in high school at West. He played football, basketball and baseball as a Regent. He was a life guard at Willows Beach in the summers of high school and college, where Lee would often bring lunch, dinner and fresh baked cookies. He went on to college at UW Madison through ROTC, reaching the rank of Second Lieutenant.
After graduating with a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering in 1955, he and Lee were married July 27th of that same year. Following, Jack went to boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
January 1, 1956, Jack was off to serve in the Army Corps of Engineers in Würzburg, Germany. Lee joined him on Good Friday of that year and they had a wonderful time exploring Germany, skiing and of course golfing on free days.
Jack started in the life insurance sales business in 1957 upon his return home. Securing his family's financial future was his number one goal. He achieved this family success by helping others secure their financial well-being. John M. Kelly and Associates (later Kelly Financial, Inc.) operated for more than 50 years in Madison. He was involved in many service clubs, most recently the Waisman Center.
While their first baby (Sue) was born in Germany, the next four (Scott, Carrie, Tricia and Jerry) were all born in Madison. The evolution of kids on the sidelines while Dad played City League softball and basketball soon became Mom and Dad as spectators for swimming, diving, gymnastics, football, skiing, baseball, hockey...and of course, golf.
Jack and Lee, both great golfers (currently both tied with 12 holes in one), traveled the world with friends and family enjoying the game of golf and experiencing new courses. They were members of Maple Bluff Country Club for over 50 years; wintered in Jupiter, Florida; and spent much of their summers in Minocqua. He was a lifelong Badger and Packer fan but enjoyed all sports.
Jack was a builder and a planner, he always enjoyed having a new project. Most recently he undertook an addition to their Minocqua home, knowing that even if there was a possibility he would not see it to completion, it would be for the comfort and enjoyment of his family, which he cherished. Thanks Dad, we love you.
Jack is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lee; his children Sue (Joe) Gambardella of Haworth, New Jersey; Scott (Gigi) Kelly of Monona; Carrie (Pete) Waite of Madison; Tricia (Sather) Ranum of Belvidere, Illinois; Jerry (Carol) Kelly of Madison; 6 grandchildren-Joe, Ryan (Carissa), Eric (Katie), Will, Kelly and Cooper; 2 great-grandchildren Jocelyn and Keira; brother Ron and many other relatives and friends.
Jack was preceded in death by his mother, Esther; father and mother-in-law Louis and Nola McGann.
A special thank you to his caregiver, Suzie.
A private family burial will be held Saturday, March 17, 2018. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 1-3pm at Maple Bluff Country Club 500 Kensington Dr. Madison, WI 53704.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jack's name to the Waisman Center, Agrace Hospice or a charity of your choice.
Please share your memories.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
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Loved our Jack.... will miss him so.
Please accept my sincere and heartfelt condolences upon the passing of Jack, a gentlemen and friend to all who knew him. He is in the gentle arms of our Lord now and I know he will be smiling down with those Irish eyes tomorrow as you all celebrate his wonderful life. God bless you all at this time. Denice Sexton
My prayers, sympathy and condolences go out to all of you. Mr. kelly was always a kind, gentle, patient and quiet soul. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly raised a beautiful family. You will be missed by many! Much love and hugs to all of you. Blessings ,Renee Hicks
Scott and family so sorry about your loss all of the great memories will always be with you to enjoy such a great father.
Dear Jerry and Carol, So sorry for your loss. Hope your memories bring you peace at this difficult time. We will include your father in our prayers. Fondly, Jerry and Mavourneen Kelly
I only knew Jack as a fellow member of Minocqua Country Club but for the short time I knew Jack I found him to be a real gentleman,
easy to know, with a great sense of humor. I enjoyed partnering with Jack whenever we were paired on men's day at the club as I knew
it would be an enjoyable round with interesting conversation and Jack's ever present outgoing personality. I will miss him on Thursdays.
Lee our thoughts and prayers are with you and your great family. Jack was one of those special guys and always fun to catch up and chat. Met back in 7th grade and he and Doug Holt were such great buds. Much love to all of you. How I miss Madison but memories are priceless. ♥️🙏Nancy Moe Nowlin
Dearest Lee, what a beautiful and heart felt tribute to Jack. He was a wonderful man, and I only wish I had known him better. What a life you have had together! I know he will be missed. Dan and I are thinking of you and you family in this time of grief. I hope to see you this summer.
So sorry to hear of the loss of this good man, Lee. Always had fun with him at
MCC. Our deepest sympathy to you and family. Jeff and Dian Gerstner
My deepest sympathy for Jack's family. He was one of the finest men I've ever known. I worked for him for many years and he was a great boss and friend. I will never forget him.
Lee I was sorry to hear about Jack. He truly loved the game of golf. He will be missed here at Jupiter Hills. God bless you and your family.
Condolences to the family on the passing of Mr. Kelly. My memories of Mr. Kelly (that's how we caddies addressed MBCC members) are of an excellent golfer who was also a good guy to caddy for, and not just because he tipped well! In the late sixties when a $1 or $1.50 tip was considered very generous. He was patient and kind to me, and I'm sure all the others who carried his bag.
Mrs, Kelly, I also have a vivid memory of you from 1968 or '69. Your caddy on the cloudy and somewhat rainy late afternoon was a nervous young guy of 14. It was my first caddy job, and I remember feeling grateful that I got as my first customer a kind and patient person. You played alone that afternoon, which made it easier for me to concentrate on doing the right things at the right time. A fifty year late "thank you" for that. It helped me gain confidence for those future jobs with low handicappers like Mr. Kelly. One other item: You were expecting, and based on the time I wonder if it was the future PGA tour member who became a favorite of fans and media for his quick laugh and good humor.
God bless you all.
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