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Village of Park Forest - Top Story News

Posted on: May 11, 2021

Park Forest remembers F. Patrick Kelly

Pat Kelly

Memorial bunting has been placed atop the south entrance of Park Forest's Village Hall in memory of former Mayor F. Patrick Kelly. Kelly passed away on May 7.

Born in Joliet on Oct. 30, 1939, Kelly was a graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy in 1957. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1961 and taught at Rich East for more than three decades, from1964 to 1995. His areas of teaching included Art and English. He served a guiding force for thousands of students who passed through Rich East High School. Upon retiring from Rich East, Kelly became a professor in the areas of Art and History at Moraine Valley Community College.

First elected to Park Forest office in 1981, Kelly served for a decade as village trustee before becoming mayor in 1991. He was re-elected in 1995 and served in the mayoral post until 1999. In addition to serving his fellow Park Forest residents as mayor and village trustee, Kelly also served on the Park Forest Library Board for a decade both as library trustee then as library board president.

Ever active in volunteer endeavors, Mr. Kelly was longtime member of the Park Forest Kiwanis Club and the Tall Grass Arts Association. ultimately serving as board president for both organizations. In his retirement, Mr. Kelly took a position as a tour guide for boat cruises along the Chicago River and relished providing architectural and historical details for the attending public.

Inducted into the Park Forest Historical Society’s Hall of Fame in 2001, Kelly lived most of his life in Park Forest where he and his wife, Nancy, raised three children.

A wake for Mr. Kelly is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 14, at Kurtz Memorial Chapel in Frankfort.

F. Patrick Kelly was 81-years-old. 

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