Obituaries

Roger L. Kelly

February 28, 1929 - December 13, 2015

Age 86, of Perry Center died Sunday December 13, 2015 at Wyoming County Community Hospital with his children by his side. He was born February 28, 1929 in Perry Center to the late Lloyd “Chub” and Jessie Fagan Kelly. Roger lived in Perry Center his entire life and was a 1947 graduate of Perry High School. He was drafted into the United States Army and served stateside with the Medical Corps during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953.

After returning from the Army, he established and operated Kelly Sound, a radio and electronics repair business. In the 1970’s, Roger studied and began repairing and tuning pianos all over Western New York. In addition, Roger operated one of the first recording studios in the area. He was a pioneer in the field of multi-track recording (late 1940’s) and recorded many local artists throughout the years.

Roger had many hobbies and interests. He was a charter member of the Perry Aeronautical Association and founder of the Perry Center Airport. As a licensed pilot he enjoyed many years of flying his own plane and even tried his luck with parachuting. He was a member of the American Radio Relay League, a former member of the Perry Center Fire Company, Constellation Lodge #404 F&AM, and was an avid Ham Radio operator for many years. Rog’s friends will also remember him for his quick wit and his never-ending desire to learn and read, especially in the areas of history and science.

Although Roger had many interests, he will be most fondly remembered by everyone for his unique style of guitar playing and love of music. Roger picked up a small guitar at the age of 10 and never put it down. As a boy he played on the radio and for numerous area talent shows. Over the years he performed with many local bands including The Swingsters, The Checker Boys, The Ex-Cheks, J.N. White’s Mid-Shipmen, The Esquires, and Rambling Lou to name a few. In addition, he also played shows with several national acts including Johnny Cash, Eddie Arnold, Sons of the Pioneers, as well as being a session man for many recordings that sold throughout the Northeast and Canada. Up until his death, he remained a member of Kelly’s Old Timers, the group he played with for 65 years.

He was preceded in death by four brothers, Lloyd “Woody”, Donald, Lyle, Phillip, and niece Diane Kelly, all of Perry Center. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lois Amidon Kelly, son Eric (Valerie) Kelly of Perry Center, daughter Amy (Joseph) Jacuzzo of Seneca Falls, four grandchildren Liam and Elise Kelly of Perry Center and Kelly and Laura Jacuzzo of Seneca Falls, four sisters-in-law Wilma, Ramona, Joyce, and Joanne Kelly of Perry Center, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebration of his life is being offered on Sunday January 10th, 2 – 5 p.m. at the Perry Firemen’s Recreation Hall, Village Park, Perry, NY. Arrangements are being handled by Harmon-Watson Funeral Home of Castile, NY. Online condolences at http://www.harmon-watson.com.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, Perry Center First Congregational Church, or Prospect Hill Cemetery (Perry Center).

Important Dates

January 10, 2016 : Memorial celebration of Roger L. Kelly’s life at the Perry Firemen’s Recreation Hall, Village Park - 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

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Jan 7.16 from Richard Drew:
Happy man of Perry Center Mr. Tunes

Jan 7.16 from Janet Sheflin:
We are so sorry for the loss of this wonderful man. He was one of the finest guitar players around in this area and the country. My dad Ralph Fuller played in the Ex-Chex's and Kelly's Old Timers for many years with Roger and his brother Woody. They loved to have Jam sessions. Loved to hear him play that guitar. He played a special song and my brothers funeral. I always remember that. Roger always called me Stuff when I was a little child. He would say what are you doing Stuff !!!!!! He would stop many times to visit my parents back in the 50's 60's 70's and 80's on their farm. They always had great conversations and he would visit my mom when my dad passed. I am so sorry for the loss of this wonderful man!!!!! Please accept our condolences. Janet Fuller Sheflin and James Sheflin

Dec 23.15 from Jim Newman:
What a loss for us not having Rogers music to watch and listen to. Your already missed, Roger.

Dec 17.15 from PAT PARK:
roger was a great musician and a wonderful friend to everyone. if we all had his joy and love for people, the world would be a better place. love to his family.

Dec 17.15 from Barry and Sharon True:
Dear Family, We are so sorry. He touched so many people in so many different ways. We were all blessed to have known him. I remember square dancing and him playing the music. We had a great time and no matter where it was, the place was full. His legacy will continue because he gave so much of himself to everyone. He will be missed but not forgotten.Play his music and celebrate his life. That will help mend the broken hearts. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Dec 17.15 from Sue Hengelsberg:
Roger was a real treasure and totally unique. He told me many stories, and gave me his uncle's tuning wrench for square pianos because it fit my antique hammer dulcimer. We'll all miss him. My sympathy to his family.

Dec 16.15 from Monica Kuney:
Amy-Our condolences to you and your entire family. Monica & Bill

Dec 16.15 from Douglas Titus:
I am so sorry that Mr. Kelly has passed. He was such a wonderful gentleman, and while transporting him in our DAV van, we would have many enjoyable conversations about his many interests, to include music, and airplanes, and he always had a funny story to tell. He would just laugh and laugh, and reminisce about times past. I am so proud of his service to our country, and all of us at the Batavia DAV share a common joy, having known such a wonderful person. God Bless You Mr. Kelly!

Dec 16.15 from Bob Knipe:
Very sorry to hear of Roger's passing. I got to know him just in the last couple of years, as a volunteer driver for the VA. We talked and laughed much, usually about music but about life in general. Roger was a genuine character and a great guy, who will be missed. Condolences from your friends at the VA and DAV.

Dec 16.15 from Rick Kibler:
I and the Kibler family offer our sincere condolences to the Kelly family. Roger's legacy speaks for itself. May he Rest In Peace.

Dec 16.15 from Alan Lonsberry:
My condolences to the family, always enjoyed hearing Roger pay.

Dec 16.15 from James Strollo:
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of sorrow.

Dec 16.15 from John Van Son, Southlake, TX:
Roger was an old and dear friend. We first met when I was the recording engineer for the Howell Recording Studio in Buffalo in the mid-fifties. Roger and I also shared a love of aviation, although he was a far better pilot than me. We enjoyed many QSOs as ham radio operators for many years. Roger's musical abilities as a self taught musician were well known and he had a great "ear". My condolences to Lois and the family. Roger was a "keeper" and will be missed by many in Wyoming County and beyond

Dec 16.15 from Joy Reed:
So many memories of Mr. Kelly as I was growing up. I'm grateful to have known him; he was a big influence on me and I'll forever remember him warmly. All my love to you and your family.

Dec 16.15 from Dale Moor:
I was saddened to hear of Roger’s passing. I always enjoyed watching him play the guitar. The first time I met him was at a jam session in the mid seventies. I was in awe at his talent! He was a great guitarist as well as a nice person. He will be missed by many. I hope the many memories his loved ones have of him will provide them some comfort in their loss. May he rest in peace in God’s kingdom.

Dec 16.15 from Loren Penman:
So very sorry to hear of Mr. Kelly's passing. His family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Dec 16.15 from Shannon (Carpenter) Etter:
Mr. Kelly, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope your many wonderful memories comfort you during this time.

Dec 15.15 from Helen Lyon:
R.I.P. Roger. Your dedication to your craft has inspired many.