Clearing the Record

Gerald Francis Kelly, 74, graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys. He was a real estate accountant for Gulf Oil Corp. in Philadelphia for 32 years before establishing Kelly Boys Powerwash in 1983.


Gerald Francis Kelly Sr., 74, of Merion, a Roman Catholic deacon and retired business owner, died of complications from cancer Tuesday at Lankenau Hospital.

Mr. Kelly graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys, where he rowed on the city championship crew team. After serving in the Navy, he earned a bachelor's degree from Villanova University.

For 32 years he was a real estate accountant for Gulf Oil Corp. in Philadelphia. Then, in 1983, he established Kelly Boys Powerwash in Bala Cynwyd with his brother Ed and their children. He retired in 1999.

Since 1955, Mr. Kelly had been married to Helen Touey Kelly. The couple grew up together in Lansdowne and raised eight children. Mr. Kelly served on the board of the Union Fire Association in Bala Cynwyd. He coached football, basketball and baseball teams at St. Matthias School in Bala Cynwyd, and was a Boy Scout and Cub Scout volunteer.

He was an active member of St. Matthias Church for more than 45 years. After his ordination as a deacon in 1995, he assisted parish priests, visiting the sick, delivering homilies, and baptizing babies - including three grandchildren. He also officiated at weddings, including the nuptials of his sons Paul and William.

In addition to his wife and those two sons, Mr. Kelly is survived by sons Gerald Jr., Thomas and Edward; daughters Margaret, Suzanne, and  Emily; and 18 grandchildren.

Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. today and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Matthias Church, 128 Bryn Mawr Ave., Bala Cynwyd. A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.