Rev. Msgr. William M. "Bill" Kelly, 89, former Pastor of St. Paul’s Church, Rome, NY, passed away on Sunday, April 15, 2012, at St. Elizabeth’s Healthcare in Utica following a long illness. Msgr. Kelly was born on September 16, 1922, in Utica, New York, the son of Francis and Theresa March Kelly. Msgr. Kelly was a graduate of St. Francis De Sales High School in Utica, Class of 1940. He attended St. Bonaventure University and was a graduate of St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester, New York. Msgr. Kelly was ordained on May 15, 1947, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.
Msgr. Kelly served as Associate Pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Binghamton, St. Joseph’s Church in Oswego, and Most Holy Rosary Church in Syracuse. He then served as Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Greene, and Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Vestal. From 1974-1997, he served as the Pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Rome until his retirement. He lived in residence at St. Paul’s Church from 1997 to 2008, when he went to live at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Utica.
Msgr. Kelly received the Rotary Roses for Living Award in 1997 and was a former Grand Marshal of the Honor America Days Parade in Rome.
Surviving are a brother, Rev. Vincent Kelly, of Oriskany Falls; and several nieces and nephews. Msgr. Kelly was predeceased by three sisters, Mary Vandewater, Carolyn Wagner, and Frances Kelly; and two brothers, Robert, and Edward Kelly.
A Mass of the Christian Burial will be held at St. Paul’s Church, Rome, with the Most Reverend Bishop Thomas J. Costello as homilist on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will take place in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Utica. Msgr. Kelly will lie in State at St. Paul’s Church on Thursday, April 19 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., with a Vigil Service to follow at 7:00 p.m. with the Reverend Robert Kelly as the homilist.
Contributions may be made in Msgr. Kelly’s memory to St. Paul’s Church Memorial Fund, 1807 Bedford St., Rome, NY, 13440, or St. Joseph’s Nursing Home Memorial Fund, 2535 Genesee St., Utica, New York, 13501.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome. You may view the obituary and send a message of sympathy at www.nunnandharper.com.