Kevin M. Kelly |Obituary


Kevin M. Kelly, 68, died in his home Jan. 16, 2020, in Grainau, Germany.

A native son of Waterloo, he was born in Red Bud on Feb. 20, 1951 son of the late Kenneth Kelly, Sr. and Jeannette Kelly (nee Knoke).

He was employed at the George Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany for the past 18 years. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Kevin served as a Russian linguist for the Army Security Agency for three years. He taught Russian at the Defense Language Institute, and then worked as a translator and simultaneous interpreter for many government agencies including the State Department, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and NASA.

He had a gift for languages and a great love for music. He was an avid musician; Kevin made many friends by playing in bands wherever he lived. 

Kevin attended Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School and then graduated from Gibault Catholic High School in 1969. He sought further education at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, Calif. and Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, Monterey, Calif.

Kevin inspired people everywhere he went. He will be remembered as a kind and generous man, always giving unconditional love to his family and friends. Musicians and work colleagues the world over are amazed at his devotion, dedication, professionalism, and teamwork. He was always willing to mentor for anyone who wanted his help. He touched many people with his keen intelligence and his commitment to critical analysis and participation in democracy.

Surviving is his wife of nearly 48 years, Laurel Kelly (nee Mundinger); sons Sean Kelly of Waterloo and Maxwell Kelly (Bridgette Cater) of Collinsville; siblings Kathleen (George) Rummel of Chicago, Patricia Kelly of Melbourne, Australia, Dr. William Kelly of Palm Springs, Calif., Laura Kelly of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Celeste (Richard) Kelley of Waterloo, Christine Checksfield of Palm Springs, Calif., Elizabeth Kelly of Melbourne, Australia, Ken (Audrey) Kelly Jr. of Waterloo, Brian (Bonnie) Kelly of Fruita, Colo., Jason Kelly of Eugene, Ore. and Justin Kelly of San Diego, Calif.; uncles and aunts, Eugene (Gloria) Knoke and Eugene (Charlene) Anderson; 25 nieces and nephews and 12 great nieces and great nephews.

He is preceded in death by a nephew, great-niece and a great-nephew. 

Family and friends will convene for a musical celebration of life Jan. 24 at the Lodge am Hausberg in Garmisch, Germany. 

A memorial celebration will be held in Waterloo at a later date.

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