ABOUT TOWN: Stoughton Says Farewell to Mark Kelley, a Former Selectman
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Father Joseph McDermott officiated as hymns were sung, words were spoken, and tears were shed for the former Precinct Captain at Town Meeting.
Among the Faces in the Crowd were: Former Town Manager and Town Clerk Jeanne Fleming, retired DPW Superintendent Larry Barrett, former Selectmen Ed Finn, Scott Carrara, and Richard Fitzgerald; school committee member Dr. Erdem Ural, Town Moderator Howard Hansen, and town employees Fran Stetson and Stephanie Carrara.
Kelley died following an extended illness on September 8, the day after his 58th birthday.
According to his obituary, he held an executive tax position with Cumberland Farms, Inc., at its national headquarters in Canton.
"He will be remembered as a generous, gregarious, and family-oriented man, who embraced public service selflessly," his obituary states. "No one was a more ardent fan of the New England Patriots football team."
Mark's late father, Bill Kelley was a Town Moderator, and his brother (also named Bill) was a Town Meeting rep. His brother Bill did the Eulogy at the September 22 service, which About Town presents an excerpt here:
"On behalf of the Kelley family, I'd like to thank you for attending today as we honor Mark's life. Years ago, I was about to attend my first Stoughton Town Meeting as an elected representative. My father, Bill Kelley, was the Town Meeting Moderator. He took me aside and gave me some lasting advice. 'Son, if you're going to talk in public, stand up, speak up, and shut up.'
The Kelley family has lasting and deep ties to the Town of Stoughton. We moved here in 1949. Mark lived all of his life in our house on Central Street. Without a doubt, these ties to the town defined him. Thinking way back, I remember I was five when Mark first arrived home. I was playing in our newly built garage and I saw the car pull in with my mother, father and Mark. I was so excited to have a brother to play with. Mark grew up a regular Catholic Stoughton child. He went to St. Mary's School and attended church here at Immaculate Conception. He went on to Xaverian Brothers High School and graduated college at Bentley.
But Mark really never left Stoughton. His friends were here, and then he entered politics. I remember how proud I was when he was elected as a Selectman. We had many long telephone conversations as he explained to me the progress the town was making. As everyone knows, Mark always held all town workers in very high esteem. I never really knew the details behind town budget hearings, but I can honestly tell all of you that there was never a valid request by the fire or police department that Mark Kelley did not fully back.
As for his other deeds as a Selectman, well, I've been told Mark always stood up and spoke up. However, I must admit, depending on the source, Mark did not always shut up.
Let me finish with the most important aspect of Mark's life--he was totally a family person. His nieces, nephews and cousins loved him, as did all the family. And, now all of us miss him dearly. May God have mercy on Mark's eternal soul.