Francis P. Kelley, Jr.

January 9th, 2016

Francis P. Kelley, Jr., “Frank” “Uncle Franny” “Mr. Wilmington”, age 87, of Wilmington, died peacefully at home on January 8, 2016.

Frank was a graduate of St. Charles High School in Waltham, Boston College with the Class of 1951, he taught at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine before taking a teaching position at Wilmington High School from 1957-1994. Frank was a well-respected and renowned Track Coach at Wilmington High School for many years. Frank was an educator, mentor, confidant, and a true friend to everyone.

Frank was the cherished son of the late Francis P. Sr. and Katherine M. (McCabe) Kelley, dear brother of Jacqueline Carleton and her husband John of Sandwich. Loving “Uncle Franny” of Paula and Richard Kendall of Sandwich, John Jr. and Beth Carleton of Woodbridge, VA, Michael and Debra Carleton of East Taunton, Barbara and Greg Magnussen of Abington, and James and Deborah Carleton of Hingham. Frank is also survived by many great nieces, great nephews, cousins, colleagues, students, athletes, and dear friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at St. Dorothy’s Church, 120 Main Street (Rte. 38), Wilmington, on Thursday, January 14th from 2:00-8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Dorothy’s Church on Friday, January 15th at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank’s name may be made to the Frank Kelley Family Scholarship Fund, c/o Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA 01887.


69 Entries in Guest Book for “Francis P. Kelley, Jr.”

  1. The guys from Club FUDD says:

    Thank you for everything Mr. Kelley

  2. Erika Skantz says:

    Mr. Kelley, you made Algebra an understandable concept, and you made respect an appreciated facet in an adolescent life.

  3. Vita Marie (Sinopoli) Graham says:

    Mr.Kelly not only taught you lessons in math, but lessons in and for life. His legacy to the town of Wilmington is immeasurable and unmatched. He touched the lives of at least 3 generations of students and athletes. What a remarkable career. What a remarkable educator, what a remarkable man. May he rest in peace.

  4. Louise Henderson Cain says:

    Mr Kelley was a great algebra teacher and a wonderful optimistic coach, always rooting for the underdog. Louise Henderson Cain class of 1964

  5. Stephen Gustus says:

    Rest in Peace, Coach. I’ll remember the corny jokes, the fact that math classes in college were easier than any of your classes, and you had great success as a Track Coach, unfortunately just after I graduated.
    Stephen Gustus Class of 1973

  6. Paul Karasch says:

    A generous, kind, wise and wonderful man. God bless you, Mr. Kelley as you have blessed us all these years!

  7. Phillip Sweet says:

    Farewell, Mr. Kelley. You were an inspiration to me and impacted all our lives. I have fond memories of three years in your math classes – and of course indoor, outdoor track and also cross-country teams. Great fun and memories. May you rest in peace. Class of 1961.

  8. Bill and Doris Ross says:

    Bill and Doris Ross

    Rest in peace my friend. You had one amazing journey!

  9. Jen splaine crane says:

    Thank you Mr. Kelley. You were a wonderful teacher and coach. You were one of the kindest people I ever knew. Every teacher should be like you.

  10. Jill Martyn says:

    This week I have been reflecting on how thoughtful and kind Mr. Kelley was, and how hard he worked to develop and nurture a personal relationship with every student and athlete year after year. I was stunned, decades after graduation, when I saw Mr. Kelley at my niece’s cross country meet. I reintroduced myself, and he not only remembered my name, he remembered the nickname he gave me and the “trophy” he said he had kept for me all these years. I thought it was a joke that we shared, this idea of a trophy to commemorate the fact that I spent a lot of my track career puking. It was just one more way that he found to encourage us to be our best. Now I’ve learned that there really was, and is, a trophy. I can’t wait to see it, Mr. Kelley, after all this time. Thank you for keeping it for me even when I laughed it off. Thank you for encouraging and finding the best in people and for having faith in people despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  11. tonycap says:

    Mr Kelly, you were a great teacher and coach; I met you on the track team when i just joined to keep in shape for soccer season but you changed my outlook on achieving life goals. I thought i was pretty goood in math until i took your geometry class in tenth and it was more difficult that hon alg in 9th but you taught bt learning peaple to focus, then you coached me to be on the 4×119 team and your passion for the sport was heartfelt, we were not good but you always had faith in every student/athlete even if you thought they had minimul chance. me and my brother will miss you-you came to my b.s. ceremony in 1981 and ill never forget that. RIP clouds cane be used for low hurtles so keep on coaching!!!! Tony

  12. George & Clarice Ross says:

    Wilmington was blessed to have such a remarkable teacher
    coach and mentor to countess numbers of our students.
    His legacy will only continue to grow. He will never be
    forgotten by those whose lives were forever changed due
    to his faith in them. May be rest in peace.

  13. Alfred Tutela says:

    Mr. Kelley, you touched the hearts and minds of many in both your teachings and words of wisdom. I enjoyed having you as both my math teacher and cross country track coach. Following high school graduation, I would enjoy each year crossing paths with you at the Wilmington Fourth of July celebration. You continued to be an inspiration even after retirement and always kept active with Town events and mingled with whomever you met. You had a presence that drew people to you and you made all feel better about themselves after a social encounter. You were caring and thoughtful even to strangers. They don’t make them like you anymore. You will be missed. Here’s a Lil’ Toot to you.

  14. Peter Jensen says:

    Thank you Mr. Kelly for believing in me, in all of us, both in the classroom and on the field. I struggled in your Algebra 1 class but you stood by me with sincere dedication and I passed. Of no surprise, forty years later you corrected me on what my actual final score was and yes you were right. I was no track star, but I can still hear your voice on the sideline cheering me on because you believed in me and everyone mattered. Thank you for having such a positive impact on my younger years. You made me feel like you were my Mr. Kelly. You will be missed.

  15. Tom Michaud says:

    I’ll never forget how you would cheer on and encourage the folks at the back of the field (like me) whether they were from Wilmington or the opposing school. One of a Kind. I feel Blessed to have known you.
    RIP Coach.
    Class of 1977

  16. tom"RIBBI" walsh says:

    RIP mr kelley ,37 yrs later you were still calling me ribbi and recognizeing me when i came to your door.I can still hear your voice booming across the track fields with a FLY RIBBI FLY.we will all miss you.

  17. Mark A. Coursey says:

    Mr. Kelley was the BEST teacher I ever had in school. He always prepared you to do your best whether in class or on the track. He was the only teacher ever to call me by my nickname. If there is an opening for a Math teacher in heaven, he is the perfect candidate for the job.

  18. Paul Dineen says:

    I wasn’t on track, and didn’t know Mr. Kelley well. But, that’s the thing. You didn’t have to be that close for it to still be obvious what a classy and loving human being he was. Wilmington was fortunate to be graced with him. I’m glad that he was able to enjoy a long and fruitful life, especially given the childhood illness that could have taken him early.

    In no small part because of the interesting and challenging classes I had with Mr. Kelley, I chose math as my undergrad major. My best teachers were (HS) Mr. Kelley, (undergrad) Prof. Porter, and (grad) Prof. Wand. Mr. Kelley didn’t have as fancy of a title, but, with no slight to the others, Mr. Kelley was a professor of life. RIP, sir.

  19. Seamas McGuire says:

    Thinking a lot about Coach Kelley today, like most days. I can honestly say Coach Kelley changed my life. He was the ultimate teacher, coach, role model and friend. He had a way of putting things in perspective, appreciating the little things and bringing the best out of everyone who listened to him. He found the best in people. I’m so sad that he’s gone, but I’m so happy I experienced the blessing of his presence in my life. He did the right thing for the right reasons, even when no one was watching. To my forever coach, role model and one of my best friends, thank you for everything. You are so loved.

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