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John Martin Kelly

November 25, 1936 August 3, 2019
John Martin Kelly
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Obituary for John Martin Kelly

John Martin Kelly, age 82, passed away unexpectedly on August 3, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. John was born in Cleveland Ohio on November 25, 1936, the son of Christopher and Phyllis Kelly. John and his family relocated to Arizona in 1946 and settled in Central Phoenix. John attended West High School before entering the Air Force, where he served honorably at Luke Air Force Base. On July 30, 1959, he married the love of his life, Glenda Wells. They were blessed with the first of their loving children, Kathleen in 1960, followed by their son, Thomas, in 1962.

After his discharge from the Air Force, John began a career at General Electric in 1960 and transitioned to Honeywell, retiring in 1991. During his 31-year career at General Electric/Honeywell, he formed many lifelong friends, including John Toppi, who instilled upon him his passion for sports officiating.

He started a second career with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office after he retired from Honeywell. He worked for MCSO faithfully for 10 Years until he retired to spend more time with his family.

Outside of his family, John’s biggest passion was his career as an amateur sports official. He officiated thousands of baseball, football and basketball games throughout Arizona and the country. His accomplishments include officiating countless state championship games and culminated in 1986 when he officiated the 4A State Championship Football Game alongside his son. John’s biggest enduring legacy was his ability to engage with and touch so many people through his sport’s interactions. Later in life he took much joy when he would run into a former coach or player that would share a fond remembrance of time spent on the field with him He was honored by present and past coaches and players by being inducted into both the AIA and Arizona Officials’ Hall of Fame.

John enjoyed fishing with his grandson and great grandchildren, traveling with his family and especially enjoyed cruising. He and Glenda took many trips including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and New England.

John is survived by his wife, Glenda, children Kathleen Rampy and her husband Robert and Thomas Kelly and his wife Margery; grandchildren, Joseph Rampy and his wife Kelsey, Kelly Rampy, Zack Bunting and Sylvia Kelly, great grandchildren, Zoe & Hartley Rampy and sister Elizabeth Boehm. He is preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, Samuel Kelly.

Services will be held privately with the family.

In lieu of flowers, please send any financial contributions to the Arizona Humane Society or any no-kill animal shelter of your choice.


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Services are private.

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Arizona Humane Society

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