Peabody — Bernard J. “Bernie” Kelly, 89, of Peabody, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on February 22, 2014.
Bernard was born in 1924, son of the late Fred Kelly, Jr. and Rose (Small) Kelly and grew up in Attica, NY. Like so many other members of the greatest generation, Bernard joined the Army in 1943 at age 18.
He was assigned to the Cannon Company of the 289th Regiment, 75th Infantry Division and rose to the rank of First Sergeant. He entered the war in 1944 on the eve of the Battle of the Bulge. For the next four months he fought on the front lines through the Bulge, the Battle of the Colmar Pocket and the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. He was awarded the Bronze Star, with a cluster, the combat Infantry Badge and several other medals, including the Médaille de la France Libérée.
After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1946, Bernard married the love of his life, Jean Rogers with whom he shared 68 years of marriage. The two began their life together while Bernard attended Communications and Aviation School in Kansas City, Missouri. On graduation, he received his Federal Communications license and was hired as a radio operator and electronics technician by Trans World Airlines (TWA). For all but a few years he worked at Logan Airport.
Bernard and Jean moved to Peabody in 1956, where they raised their two children. He continued working for TWA for 37 years before retiring in 1986. He spent his long years of retirement enjoying his family and friends. Bernard was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, VFW Post 1011 Peabody, the 75th Infantry Division Association, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, and the French Rhine en Danube Association.
Bernard is survived by his wife, Jean (Rogers) Kelly; a son, Michael and his daughter, Kristina; and by his daughter, Karen Kelly McCarty, her husband, Thomas McCarty and their son, Ryan; Michael’s companion, Ann Marie Phillips; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his siblings, Freddy, Gladys, Gerald, Rose, Eugene and Beatrice. “Bernard, a kind and gentle man, will be greatly missed by all who had the great pleasure of knowing him.”