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).