When 16-year-old Anna Marie Kelly went to Roxborough Memorial Hospital to see her father, a police officer, after he had been shot to death, all she could look at were his shoes.
"His shoes always had holes in them because he could never afford new ones because he was always providing for us," Kelly said.
"The whole time I couldn't look at his face; I just kept looking at his shoes," she said.
Joseph V. Kelly, a 16-year veteran of the force, was shot twice in the chest on Feb. 21, 1971, while investigating a car being stolen on Paoli Avenue near Umbria Street in Roxborough.
Kelly's killer was found two days later and is serving time for Kelly's murder and two others.
"I just remember the knock at the door that day and my mother screaming," said his daughter, now Anna Marie Negler.
"They didn't want to tell her that he died but she got it out of them," Negler said.
His widow, Sarah, and his five daughters, Anna Marie, Eileen, Patricia, Sally Ann and Joann, gathered yesterday in the driveway where he was shot to memorialize his sacrifice with a hero- plaque-dedication ceremony.
Robert Ballentine, financial secretary of the Fraternal Order of Police, called the six women "a legacy of his goodness."
"Officer Joseph Kelly was a good patrol officer, he knew his sector, he knew the people who lived on his sector," Ballentine said.
"At the time of this tragic event, we ranged in age from 6 to 16," said Kelly's daughter Eileen Barclay.
"With so many years gone by, our memories are a little dulled, but not forgotten," she added.
Negler said her father loved to cook and would make a layered vanilla-and-chocolate pudding for his daughters.
Negler also said that her father loved to sing Irish or country- western songs. One favorite Irish ballad was "The Black Velvet Band."
"Even though he worked two jobs, he never missed our Irish- dance performances or our weekend trips to the Shore," Barclay said.
"On his days off, he always made my mother relax. After all, raising five girls was not easy."
Barclay said remembering her father's love has helped sustain her.
"I just remember the love of us girls that he had. We were always his first priority."
The hero-plaque program is a joint effort between the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5 and attorney James Binns.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a hero plaque should call Binns at 215-275-3000. *