Michael “Shawn” Kelly, 65, died Aug. 14, 2018, in Woodstock, Ill. He was born Aug. 11, 1953, in Lake Forest, Ill., the son of the late Michael John Kelly and Marietta (McLoughlin) Kelly.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Ann; daughters, Kristen (Rob) Ryan, Jennifer Kelly, Shannon Kelly, and son, Michael Kelly III; sisters, Karen Kelly, Kim (Dan) Fitzharris; brothers Kevin Kelly and Brian (Erin) Kelly; and four grandchildren, Miri Kelly, Michael Shawn Kelly IV, Robbie Ryan and James Kelly.
Shawn graduated Marian Catholic High School in 1971, and shortly after went west to California, a fan of the fresh outdoor air and mountains. He later moved back to Illinois to finish his studies, while holding several executive roles at the family business, Kelco Industries. He later launched a successful career in financial services as First Vice President of Graystone Consulting, a division of Morgan Stanley.
Shawn was generous, with a heart the size of Kelarney. He had the most caring soul, always aware of how others were feeling around him. As such, he often played the mood lightener and inappropriate joke teller. He was fast with the high five, pat on the back, and strong, breath-taking hug (sometimes independently, mostly sequential). He loved roaring fires, wooded walks and modern cowboys. His was a perfect 67-degree day, any justification to wear 30-year-old denim.
But his greatest testament and proudest achievement was his family, most notably the love of his life, Ann. Shawn married the stunning “older’”Ann (older by 18 months, and he’d never let her forget it) on Aug. 29, 1981. Much to their children’s naïve embarrassment, and later awe and appreciation, over the ensuing decades they’d continue to quietly display their strength and support for each other. This peppered with all of the wonderful highs and lows of marriage, the latter usually remedied by stolen dances in the kitchen (“Youuuu, you make lovin’ fun …”)
Shawn taught all of his children, and grandchildren, to love unconditionally. To always support the weak and uplift the downtrodden. And to believe in themselves, as much as he did in each of them. But most importantly, the secrets of a perfectly grilled, medium-rare steak – his being legendary this side of the Rockies.
In memory of Shawn, his family asks that you do something small and thoughtful today – pick up flowers to bring to a neighbor, call a sibling to tell them you love them. Put down your phone, be present and share stories, debate and trade laughs. Preferably with a (chilled) Malbec or cold Coors Light, and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” guiding the conversation. He’s certainly doing the same in Heaven tonight, with a few new friends and old, that’s for sure.
Visitation was from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 18, at Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, Ill. Funeral Mass followed at 1:00 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 15012 St. Patrick Road, Hartland. Interment was in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Woodstock.
For information, call the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home in Woodstock at 815-338-1710 or visit the website at slmcfh.com