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Francis “Coach” Kelley

April 1, 1973 - January 4, 2013
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Thursday 1/10, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Friday 1/11, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Newark Cemetery
Chapel and New Streets
Newark, DE 19711
302-731-4627 | Map
Friday 1/11
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Friday 1/11, 11:00 am

“Coach Kelley” Francis J. “Fran” Kelley, 39, of Smyrna, DE, passed away unexpectedly Friday January 4, 2013 at his home with his wife and 2 children by his side. A lifelong resident of Delaware and a proud Irishman, Fran was born in Wilmington on April 1, 1973, the son of Thomas Kelley and Kathryn PetitContinue Reading

Stacy Erickson (Krommemacker) left a message on February 8, 2013:
I just found out about Fran's passing. I wish i could have come in person to express my condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. I used to spend hours on the bus with Fran and Matt every day for years. Fran was so sweet and I can't believe he was taken away so soon. I cant imagine losing someone so young. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Regards Stacy
Heather Yates left a message on January 10, 2013:
We are so very sorry for your loss .. Our prayers are with you and the kids and your family every day. We hope the life filled with the love you shared with bring peace to your hearts. May God bring you comfort and strength today and all the days ahead. Some of our best memories we shared with you and Fran. They will forever live in our hearts. Fran may you rest in peace. Sending all our love , The Yates Family
Terry Hays-Sapp left a message on January 10, 2013:
Francis Your time here was way to short but God has claimed another angel in his timing. You and your smile will be missed at Dow Chemical. Some people just have the gift of making people smile and you will always be remembered. To the Family of Francis Kelley I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Life sometimes seems so unfair but your faith will pull you through. His memories will stay with you for a lifetime and his love. God only takes the Best!
C brown left a message on January 10, 2013:
I'm so sorry for your loss. My grandson is just starting Smyrna Little Wrestlers and to look at the pictures posted, makes me smile. They also make me sad to know the children will not have Coach Kelly's guidance. There looks like there were a lot of great memories made and he will not be forgotten in the hearts of all the people he touched. Prayers to your family to get through each day.
Lillian Pierson left a message on January 10, 2013:
Our family is truly blessed to have had you in it. Your family is a beautiful tribute of you. Our love, thoughts, and prayers go out to friends and family of Fran. Love and God bless, Aunt Lillian and family
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Ann Marie Wysoczanski left a message on January 10, 2013:
I would like to add my sincere condolences to those of so many others. I have worked with Fran for many years as environmental, health and safety support to the Technology organization. He was always helpful to what was needed technically, but also had the ability to be hands on and do whatever needed to be done. I am grateful for having the opportunity to work with him. He will be missed.
gail lewis left a message on January 10, 2013:
Franny, May you rest in peace, and God look down and hold your family in this time. Gail
shelley foreman-Flanagan left a message on January 10, 2013:
Sweet Fran, you were a joy to know..I'm truly blessed to have known you, and had the privilege to send too few moments with your short life...thank you for the happiness you brought others,your missed greatly..God Bless your soul..Love Aunt Shelley and Family
Brian Davis left a message on January 10, 2013:
Dear everyone who knew Coach Fran, I know I did not know Coach Fran for long but the times I had with him were the most memorable. He was so nice and caring it was as if he had god in his heart. The last time I saw him was last Thursday the 3. The last thing I said to him was, "Thank you for the ride" if I knew all this would have happened I would have done more than said thanks. However, we cannot live in the past of what if's and I should have we should live life as if tomorrow is the end because you never know it might be. Treat people the way you would want to treat them if they were gone because u never knows if you wake up the next day and find that your last words were not the ones you wanted to use. My prayers go out to the Kelly family because I know this is rough and if I were going through the same thing, I would need someone to help me though this is. I am glad they have Smyrna to get them through it, because u never can have too much help. Coach Fran we miss you. However, I know you are in a better place and as we grow up to wrestle in high school, I know you will be watching us wrestle yelling out what we should do. You were more than a coach to us you were like a second dad. You always had a helping hand out for the people that needed it. I know I only knew you for a year but I feel like I knew you for 10. I wish I could have known you longer. However, into that one year you thought us so much that we will take on and teach our children and I will tell them the stories of you. In addition, they will live everyday god gives us to the fullest. We love and miss you. Sincerely, Brian P. Davis Jr.
Rachel Rinow left a message on January 10, 2013:
Shelley and kids, We are so sorry for the loss of Franny. He was always so nice to our family and I'm glad we got to see you guys at our weddings. Shaun, Rachel and Mason Rinow
Ginger Barkley / Smyrna Little Wrestlers left a message on January 9, 2013:
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Coach Fran. We will cherish the memories from our wrestling room over the years. Please know that the wrestling family is with you during this time of grief.
Don and Jane Shaw left a message on January 9, 2013:
At this sad time know how many hearts are touched by your loss, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Love Aunt Janie and Uncle Donnie
Cheri Jerns left a message on January 9, 2013:
Offer our deepest sympathy to the family and friends.
Joan Kelley Fox left a message on January 9, 2013:
Dearest Tommy, I can't express my sorrow adequately for the loss of your dear son. The photos of Francis' family and friends make me weep for the joy of his life and the sorrow of his passing. I send you my hope in the God of Aunt Alice for your comfort and peace. I live in NC but embrace you in your time of sorrow. Love, Your cousin Joan (As I loved your father, I love you)
Sandy Flanagan Scott left a message on January 9, 2013:
Dear Shelly, Ryan and Abby, You are in my thoughts and prayers each day as you struggle to make sense of this terrible lost of Fran. He was such a joy to have in our family the past 25 years and to watch your love grow between you two was amazing! Just remember that the love that you two shared will live forever thru your two beautiful children! I will always remember Fran's smile and laugh. He was always a lot of fun to be around. He was a great husband and father to Ryan and Abby. They will always have great memories to carry them thru the years. Just remember that I will always be here for you and the kids. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. All my love always, Aunt Sandy and Family
Colleen Hardt Posey left a message on January 9, 2013:
Dear Fran Kelley Family, I wish you peace in heart and memories to last life time of your son, husband, and father. I write on behalf of my mother, Eleanor Kelley Tidwell, Fran’s great aunt at 94 yrs old, who was so very sadden to learn of Fran’s passing today. She loves her Irish family and it hurt her deeply to hear of another love one’s passing. Tommy, my heart bleeds for you and Fran’s family, and our prayers are with you all. God bless each of you and hold you in the palms of his hands. Love, Colleen Hardt Posey.
Joe Stanavich left a message on January 9, 2013:
Shelley and Family, As I guide my children to embrace wrestling as many of my friends' have through the years, one memory of my friend Fran stands out the most. I pointed out to my son in Penn's wrestling room the '92 state champion and the story of how Fran fought to get to that match and how the match should've played out. Fran gave his all. Be relentless. Never quit. May everlasting peace be with you and your family. Thank you Fran for allowing me to share your life with my family.
Rob Jones left a message on January 9, 2013:
Nothing more can be said that has not already about Fran, I got to experience first hand his drive, dedication, and his 110% in everything he did. Fran was a teammate, a colleague, and most of all a friend of mine. He was and allways will be remembered as an outgoing friendly, and charismatic guy. Fran, you may no longer be here in body, but you will allways be here in heart and mind!! Rest In Peace My Friend!!!
Hongyu Wang left a message on January 8, 2013:
Fran, you were an exceptional hard worker, always self-making, self-starting. I worked with you for most part of my career at Dow on the bulk copper project. We together went through thick and thin on this roller coaster ride of research, enjoyed successes, invented technologies and shared tough times together. I will forever remember the times you and I chatted on work, families, kids, and sports. Every time I walk in my office I think about the talk we had on THE FRIDAY afternoon before we headed out of work. You are the ACE in my book on many things. Rest in peace my friend.
Bernadette Robinson left a message on January 8, 2013:
My heart is reaching out to you, For what you’re going through; I’m thinking of you frequently And praying for you, too. If there’s something I can do, Anything at all, Think of me thinking of you, And don’t hesitate to call.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Nancy Flanagan left a message on January 8, 2013:
Our hearts are so heavy with sorrow for you and your children Shelly. Please know we love you and we are there for you however we can help ease your loss. May The Lord comfort you and keep you in his grace as He takes you through the difficult times and bless you with wonderful memories of your life together with Fran. We love you.. Uncle Jeff and Aunt Nancy
Belinda Randall left a message on January 8, 2013:
Shelly, I remember when you were a little girl. My thoughts, hope and prayers are with you and your children in this terribel time of sorrow, Love Aunt Linda
Shannon Wilds left a message on January 8, 2013:
Looking through all of these amazing pictures of Fran, Shelly and the children is heartbreaking. They are wonderful pictures, with beautiful memories attached, moments saved in time, captured forever. I see a loving family, and a fairytale relationship, the type that everyone yearns for. I am so very sorry for this tremendous loss. Shelly, may all of the amazing memories that you and Fran created together help keep you strong in the days to come. May the love of family and friends help to comfort you and your beautiful children. May Fran's legacy live on through all the many lives he has touched. May God Bless You all, you're so very much in my thoughts and prayers.
Tommy N Krista Pavia left a message on January 8, 2013:
Fran Kelley - Wrestler - Coach - Friend.... Lord Bless you brother and especially your children and wife! YOU are so missed - I remember all the Laughs we had at Del State Wrestling with Coach Newsome, Joey Archangelo, Cameron Davis and a whole bunch more.... I remember your Passion for wrestling - coaching and helping others - I remember how you were always willing to help my boy Logan get to practice plus always giving him advice with how to get better - You always did it in a gentle way but it meant something to him and especially me.... YOU will be so missed my friend! I will be Praying for Your Family! May God's Blessings, Comfort and Strength Pour Down on them as they grieve this sudden loss - Truly Fran you were a Good Man! I Praise God for having had a small part of your life! Until we meet in Heaven Brother! Tommy (Coach Tommy Pavia)
Desiree' Moore Burritt left a message on January 8, 2013:
Shelley and family, No words can express how sorry I am for loss. Fran will be sorely missed. He was always making us laugh, we had such fun in Dewey/Scottfield/Madison. I will never forget our fun and adventures! We are close by, please let us know if we can do anything for you. Love you, Des'
Kathleen Kelley Pombo left a message on January 8, 2013:
Our sincerest sympathy to all of the Kelley family.
Calysta Robinson left a message on January 8, 2013:
I didn't know Francis Kelley but i am related to Shirley Justice through marriage and i just wanted to say i am sooo sorry for everyone's loss. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Sue Hudson left a message on January 8, 2013:
Our throughts and prayers are with you and your family. How I remember you both in high school, just a lovely couple. May God keep you and your family in his arms through this time and we will keep you in our prayers. Sincerely, Joe, Sue, David, Michael and Jennifer Hudson
Tom Murphy left a message on January 8, 2013:
I was very surprised and saddened by the passing of Fran. Although I haven't seen Fran in almost 20 years, I will always remember his energy, personality and dedication. He was a fine young man that I had the opportunity to know and coach. I am sure just like everyone who knew Fran, I will miss him and remember his smile. May God Bless Shelly, Ryan and Abbigail.
Anne Hollerman left a message on January 8, 2013:
My daughter and Abby are best friends at school and I fondly recall Abby speaking of her dad and the beach and remember how her face lit up.. Shelley my heart breaks for you.. I hope you find comfort in friends and family and in the eyes of those beautiful kids...our thoughts and prayers are with you... Kevin, Anne and Breanna Hollerman...
Roseanne Prado left a message on January 8, 2013:
Irish Blessing May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, And the rains fall soft upon your fields. Until we meet again,
Leszek Hozer left a message on January 8, 2013:
I knew Fran relatively short but will remember him long. He had one of those exceptional and so difficult to describe qualities that makes working with him and being with him so worth a while. He was a person making me to look forward to come to work and do something together. And with Fran there was never a doubt all will be successfully accomplished with a smile. Fran - I will dearly miss you ...
Jiun-Fang Wang left a message on January 8, 2013:
We are so saddened and shocked by the loss of Fran, a true trustworthy partner. We'd like to express our deepest sympathies to his wife, children and parents. Colleagues from the Taiwan slurry team
Francis Acholla left a message on January 7, 2013:
Fran... We will miss u... May the Lord Rest Your soul in eternal peace. Thank you very much for sharing your life with us. Acholla Family
Angela Ciccarelli-Keith left a message on January 7, 2013:
Shelly and Family, My heart and prayers are with your family at this time, may god watch over you and your children. Love Angela
Sonny Casapulla left a message on January 7, 2013:
Words can't describe the mark the you left on my life. I could not thank you enough for everything you have done for me as a person. You will forever hold a spot in my heart. You are such a devoted father, husband, and friend and that will never be forgotten. RIP to not only my co-worker but someone who I proudly call a friend.
Laurie Chastain (Weyl) left a message on January 7, 2013:
Fran, Thinking of all the good laughs, and the way you always cared and loved others.Will continue with my promise to you I made years ago to take care of your son, my goson, Ryan. Love you and will miss you lots.
Thompson Family left a message on January 7, 2013:
So sorry for your loss
Hugh Li left a message on January 7, 2013:
Fran, you will be dearly missed in my heart, as a dear colleague and as a friend.....I wish I had more chances and time to know you better, but I'm also immensely grateful for the time I had the priviledge to work with you. Rest in peace, my friend.
Marsha Kosek left a message on January 7, 2013:
So sorry to read about the passing of your husband and father to your children. I just lost my husband in Steptember unexspectly at our home.I have a hard time dealing with it.But there is no answer why. My husband was activit in all that our son did back in the day.Including the support of our son wreastling for Dover High and against Smyrna.My prayers goes out to you and your family.Just take on day at a time.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Tracy Broomall left a message on January 7, 2013:
You are in our prayers.... may u rest in peace Fran. Love you!
Donna McDonough left a message on January 7, 2013:
Shelly & family, Our hearts & prayers are with you all. So very sorry for your loss. Fran will never be forgotten. Much love, The McDonough Family Jim,Donna,Luke,Kyle & Erin xo
Krissi Welsh & Family. left a message on January 7, 2013:
Words can not express what I feel for your loss Shelly, Ryan & Abby. I will never forget Fran. He was a great person.
Bernadette Robinson left a message on January 7, 2013:
Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family. When a good man dies a thousand lights go out, And it’s said a giant library is lost - Oh, I’ve tried to make comparisons and wise clichés To estimate, in part, a good man’s loss; For I know the way it feels to have your heart bend low- And I understand how dark the nights can be.... But a good man has a heritage beyond the grave, And we would be so foolish not to see That a good man leaves a light his children follow- No groping through some wilderness or maze- And howe’er their lives, it shines on in a brilliance That they can see ’til ending of their days’ And his words come ringing, deep, in vibrant stereo Within the keen recesses of their minds... There’s guidance there enough to get to Heaven Where once again their hearts and arms entwine. I’m so sorry for your loss here on the earth below- But I’m proud to say “a good man” went away... And you’ll see him soon - it won’t be long - just follow The lights a good man left upon the way...
RT Foard left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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