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John Anthony Kelly, MD
John Anthony Kelly, MD
In Memory of

John Anthony Kelly, MD

1936 - 2019

Obituary of John Anthony Kelly, MD

John Anthoy Kelly, M.D.                     10 March 1936 - 2 April 2019


Born in Howth, Ireland, the son of Capt. Thomas A. Kelly, RAMC and Mrs. Pauline M. Kelly, John A. and his beloved sister, Ann, were raised by his mother and extended family members in Cork City, Ireland after his father's ship was torpedoed during WW II.


Following his graduation from National University of Ireland, Cork, with a degree in medicine, Dr. Kelly came to the United States in 1960 to complete a rotating internship at Yale-affiliated St Rafael's Hospital in New Haven, CT.  He also did his residency in pathology.  Although not an American citizen, Dr. Kelly received his Vietnam draft papers and was eager to serve the country that provided him with such great opportunity.


In 1962, newly commissioned US Army Capt. John A. Kelly, MD was assigned first to Fort Benning, GA then Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX.  He served in the Burn and Surgical Research Unit there for 2 years, on alert status for both the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis.  While in San Antonio, Dr. Kelly became engaged to 2nd Lt. Mary Ann Kisella, RN.  They were married 19 December 1964 moving to the University of Vermont where he completed an Anatomical Pathology Residency. The Kelly’s daughter, Siobhán, was born at that time.


The Kelly's moved to the Valley in 1967 so Dr. Kelly could practice in a rural East Coast area as he desired. At the time, the Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Clinic had only 46 physicians on staff, including a wonderful team of pathologists and co-workers. He practiced at the Guthrie for over 30 years, serving as various times as Chairman of the Laboratory, Chief of Pathology, and Chairman of Infectious Disease Committee for over 25 years. He also spent time as Coroner and Medical Examiner for Bradford County, PA. He was an Associate Professer at Ithaca College through Guthrie. And during the flood of 1972, he served as the Valley Medical Officer, and also helped rescue stranded residents. He was so proud of becoming a United States citizen in 1983.


Dr. Kelly had many interests and was vastly knowledgeable and conversant in myriad subjects including history, automobiles, vintage aircraft, music, literature, architecture, craftsmanship, fine spirits and ales, all things maritime and everything Irish.  He was always good for a patient & listening ear, words of wisdom & caring, a quick sense of humor, many laughs, and more than a few clever songs, jokes and limericks. He reveled in trips home to family in Ireland, travelling, and sailing whenever possible. In his later years, Dr. Kelly became very involved in the Catholic Church and put hours into study of Biblical History, Holy Land Archeology, Catechism, and Scripture. He served as Epiphany Church Lector, RCIA Instructor & Sponsor, Member of 24-Hour Eucharistic Adoration, Prayer Circle participant, ARISE member, and Soup & Scripture contributor. He was not afraid of death but had a firm belief that he would cross over into a far better life with God, the Everlasting and Ever-Loving Father.


Dr. Kelly will be sorely missed by so many friends and family the world over.  He is survived by his wife, MaryAnn; daughter Siobhán Kelly Gordon, her husband John Joseph Gordon and their children Jacob, Ailís and Ronan (Mystic, CT); Brothers-in-law, Kenneth W. Kisella (Durham, NC), John W. Kisella and his wife Sallie (GA).  His dearly loved nieces & nephews include John Anthony O'Driscoll (Ballyjamesduff, Ireland), Catherine Pauline O'Driscoll (UK), Michael G. O'Driscoll (Bahrain), Lucy G. O'Driscoll (UK) and their families as well as cousins Carmel, Barry, and Kevin Donovan.  


Family and friends may call on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 9am-10am at the Church of the Epiphany, 304 South Elmer Avenue, Sayre, PA. A Memorial Mass will follow at 10am with the Rev. Andrew Hvozdovic officiating.


Per Dr. Kelly's request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Guthrie Hospice, Guthrie Square, Sayre, PA 18840; the Irish-based world charity "Concern," 355 Lexington Ave, 16th Floor, NY, NY 10017; Epiphany School, 627 Stephens Street, Sayre, PA 18840; or the charity of your choice.