Francis Jerome Kelly

November 21, 1939 - July 9, 2022

Francis Jerome Kelly, 82, of Rockingham, Vermont, died Saturday, July 9, 2022. He was born in Bellows Falls, VT, November 21, 1939. He attended St. Charles Catholic school and was a graduate of BFUHS class of 1957. Afterwards, he joined the Vermont National Guard then enlisted in the U.S. Army. His military career brought him and his family to many U.S. states including Alaska and an overseas stay in Germany. He was also stationed in South Korea for two tours. He retired Sergeant Major from Fort Lee, Virginia in 1988 and returned home. 

A true Vermonter, he was raised in the local woods, rivers and lakes hunting, fishing, and enjoying all the natural world had to offer. A man of adventure, he instilled a love of the natural world to all his family and friends. Always outside, he was an unofficial steward of the village forest. He loved spending time in the woods cutting, splitting, and stacking wood for the winter. A character like no other, he would always have something witty to say and had many stories to share about his adventures in Alaska, Germany and growing up in Vermont.

Francis is predeceased by his parents, Maurice Kelly, Sr., and Hortense Baraby, brother, Maurice Kelly Jr., and sister, Shirley Howard. He is survived by his sister, Patricia Ann Ray of Jacksonville, FL, his son, Timothy Kelly of South Hadley, MA, daughters, Joanne Kelly and son-in-law, Tom Fuschetto of Marlow, NH, Christine Kelly-Terena of Bellows Falls, Michelle Kelly of Savannah, GA, and Mary Kelly, and son-in-law, Greg Kaiser of Menlo Park, CA. His beloved grandchildren are Apoema Terena, Amyra Terena, Emöke North and Meroe Kaiser. He was loved by many nieces, nephews, and life-long friends. In lieu of flowers you may choose to make a donation to the Vermont Veterans Fund at

There will be calling hours at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral home on August 10, 5:00-7:00 PM. His wishes are to be buried at the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, VT. A military ceremony and burial are planned for August 11 at 11:00 AM in Randolph, VT. 

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Ralph Little

posted July 20, 2022

Cousin Francis led a full life having risen to the highest enlisted rank in the Army he loved. I enjoyed the times I had growing up with him, sharing fishing and the woods. Our last outing in June to the Vt. National Guard Museum is memorable both for his enjoyment and his driving technique. I wish his family all the best.

Christine Kelly

posted July 21, 2022

Thanks for your memory Ralph!

Christine Kelly

posted July 21, 2022

He was so proud of his grandson!! He teared up during the ceremony….must of brought back memories of a lifetime of service to this country.

Calling Hours

DATE: August 10, 2022
TIME: 5:00-7:00 PM
WHERE: Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home see map
ADDRESS: 55 Westminster St, Bellows Falls, VT 05101

Funeral Service

DATE: August 11, 2022
TIME: 11:00 AM
WHERE: Vermont Veterans Cemetery see map
ADDRESS: 487 Furnace Road, Randolph Center, VT 05061

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