John Jeremy Kelly

  • Born: December 27, 1941
  • Died: May 23, 2019
  • Location: Indio, California

Rose Mortuary & Crematory

66424 Pierson Blvd.
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

rosemortuary@gmail.com
Tel. (760) 251-7673

Tribute & Message From The Family


Jerry was born on December 27, 1941 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Later his family moved outside the city to Horsham, PA., and then when he was 16 they relocated to the New York area. He graduated from Iona Prep and earned his Bachelors Degree from Fordham University. Throughout High School and College he competed on the track team, specializing in Pole Vaulting. As an adult, he became an avid runner and played senior ice hockey with the Darien Winter Club. He lived most of his life in Connecticut, where he and his first wife, Pat raised their two children, Michael and Christine. He moved to Los Angeles for business in 1993 where he met his wife, Dawn. After retiring in 2001, they moved to Mammoth Lakes, CA to ski and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle of the Eastern Sierra mountains. Their next stop was in Central Orgeon to play golf and spend time with the wonderful friends they met in the Eagle Crest Resort community in Redmond, OR. After spending many winters in the Palm Springs area, he and his wife moved full time to Indio, CA last fall.

Jerry had a long career in broadcast sales. Starting his career at NBC in New York in the early 60's eventually becoming president of RKO Network Radio Sales. In the mid-80's he and his partners at Manchester Productions owned the radio broadcast rights to the N.Y. Yankees. He entertained everyone with stories from the period of "hanging out" with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Lou Pinella and the ever colorful Phil Rizzuto. His work life included a long stint with CNN Network Sales in NY and LA. Over his career he had the opportunity to work for ABC Network Radio, CBS Network Radio, Blair TV, CBS Network Television and ITN Syndication.

Jerry was 77 when he was taken from us very suddenly on May 23, 2019. He will be sorely missed by his wife Dawn Imber Kelly, and his children Michael Kelly and Christine Stone, his son-in-law Richard Stone, and his three wonderful granddaughters - Savannah, Scarlett and Georgia. He is survived by his brother, Jeff Kelly and his sisters Rosemary Parnell and Veronica Serra. Remember to tell everyone right now how much you love them.

He will be remembered with much love at a private celebration of his life at the home of great friends here in Palm Desert, and later this summer at his daughter's home in Connecticut.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Jerry Kelly was my cousin. Although he was six years older and I saw him only infrequently, all of my memories of him were positive. I remember Jerry as kind and smart and caring. He was someone I looked up to. A man I admired. Recently, Rosemary and my wife, Elizabeth, and I talked about going out to visit him. I wish we had.

John Doble, NYC

Posted by John Doble - New York City, NY - Family   June 15, 2019

I will never forget that when my Gerry and I moved into the neighborhood on Merlin Drive, Jerry was the first one to welcome us and make sure we were included in the summer neighborhood gatherings. He was a fun, funny, and sweet guy and he and Dawn and Clancy were awesome neighbors. He will be missed.

Posted by Debra Demuth - Redmond, OR - Neighbor   June 13, 2019

Dear Dawn, You and Jerry were dear dear friends. I don't know how else to say it but we almost felt like we were family! We first met in Mammoth about 18 years ago and it has always been the best of times when we were together.
Losing Jerry was a shock to all of us. You were the light of his life and we could see how much you loved him too.! You two were a wonderful couple with many friends, good family and many cherished times together. We remember lots of good Superbowl parties and holidays together. Jerry had the greatest sense of humor and always had a smile hiding there if you said the right thing! His Irishness was a very proud part of him and we all learned to appreciate the Irish! He told good stories, was very proud of his kids and grandkids and mostly his wife, Dawn! You two were always together and united which made it delightful to be with you. You were always positive and happy. Our prayers are that we will still be together---for a long time!!
Love you, Bobbie & Fred

Posted by Bobbie & fred Anderson - Palm Desert & Mammoth, CO - Family Friend   June 12, 2019

From the first time I met Jerry in the early 90s - I was taken by his warmth, friendliness and open heartedness. Over the years, Jeff and I enjoyed visiting Jerry and Dawn in Playa del Ray and Mammoth Lakes and going on vacation with them in Maui and having them visit us in our homes in Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Keys. Unfortunately we didn't see much of him & Dawn in the later years and I will miss his wit and good company. I am so sorry he left us a little too early and send my deepest sympathies to Dawn, Christine and Michael.

Posted by SHIRLEY GUN - Ramrod Key, FL - Family   June 09, 2019

Jerry was a great big brother. I can't imagine how my childhood would have been without him. I got to hang out with older kids who wouldn't have given me the time of day were I not Jerry Kelly's little brother. In school the nuns and teachers gave me instant acceptance, and sometimes, unfortunately, Jerry's example set expectations that were not always easy for me to meet. In the neighborhood I was sort of a made kid (like in the mafia) as in anyone pushing me around had Jerry Kelly to deal with. But all that came to an end at the start of my sophomore year of high school. Our family moved to Florida, but Jerry stayed in New York because he was already in college. Then I became the big brother to my sisters, Rosemary and Ronnie, and I realized that job comes with responsibilities. That made me truly appreciate having Jerry around during my early years.
In hindsight I wish I'd spent more time with him in the years following. Some of my best days in high school was when Jerry and his Fordham College buddies came down to Florida for spring break. Doing Fort Lauderdale with his crew was where I learned how to party. He set the example for me on how the next phase of my life should be. I never thanked him for that. I should have.
Over the years our time together became less and less. I regret that. You don't realize how much you miss someone until they are gone. But I truly believe that death is not really the end. I will see him again, not as Jerry Kelly perhaps, but as the spirit that was his essence. Until then brother, semper fi.

Posted by Jeff Kelly - Ramrod Key, FL - Brother   June 08, 2019

Dawn, Bill and I so enjoyed the friendship of you and Jerry. We still cannot believe that Jerry is gone. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. A big hug! Karen

Posted by Karen Nelson - Eagle Crest, OR - Friend   June 08, 2019

Old friends, many years, fun times, lots of love!
Jerry was a very lucky guy, who picked just the right partner in our friend, Dawn!
We just wish that you would have had many more years together!
Much Love,
Susie and Mike

Posted by Susie an Mike Minifie - Chicago- high school friends - Friend   June 08, 2019

So many happy times when Jerry and Dawn lived in Mammoth. Going to the Kelly's for Jerry's famous Bouillabaisse, lots of laughter, great wines, the LARGE straw basket with all the wine corks. One night we were all having a wonderful time and Dawn took the dog out for a walk, when she didn't return, we became concerned. Dawn had gone to bed in a guest room downstairs. WE all decided is was time to leave.

A few weeks, before Jerry passed, I visited them and Jerry's comments on the country's political scene were as spot on as always.

He is sorely missed

Posted by Andree Wallis - Mammoth Lakes, CA - Friend   June 08, 2019

Dawn - I am so very sorry for your sudden loss. Jerry and I have been friends for decades and always enjoyed our times together whether at dinner, a sports event or cooking Thanksgiving Dinner. I echo what his son Michael says about his dad - he was a good man with a big heart. Dawn, as I told you on the phone, you made Jerry very happy . You were soulmates and spending time with both of you was always joyous.
Take care of yourself. Jerry would want you to be healthy and happy.

Posted by Cheryl Lodinger - Studio City, CA - Friend   June 08, 2019

Dawn, Bill and I have so enjoyed having you and Jerry as our neighbors and friends for the few years we've lived next door. I'm so sorry for your loss, I know we will sorely miss Jerry and that friendly smile always on his face.
Love, Bill and Deborah

Posted by Deborah Wells - Indio, CA - Neighbor   June 07, 2019

Although, due to geographical distance, I did not know Jerry very well but I know he made my cousin Dawn very happy and was a terrific father. He will be missed.

Posted by Mark Callahan - Denver, CO - Family   June 07, 2019

So sorry for your loss Dawn!

Posted by Elizabeth Adrian - Redmond, OR - Friend   June 06, 2019

Dawnie, I'm so sorry you are experiencing the heartbreaking loss of your husband. What a rich life the two of you had together. It's hard to believe that someone as full of life as Jerry was could be gone. We'll keep you in our prayers during this very difficult time.

With love,

Jane and Owen

Posted by Jane Callahan Frawley - Willowbrook, IL - Family   June 06, 2019

Dads passing was so sudden I'm having a hard time with it...because we lived on opposite sides of the country it doesn't seem real...but sadly it is...My fathers Act2...California and Dawn...was probably the happiest time in his life because they both enjoyed the fruits of their labors sharing a real zest for life and relishing the company of dear friends,fine wines,gourmet foods and world travel...I couldn't have been happier for Dad and Dawn and will always feel blessed for the time I spent with them in Los Angeles at the beginning of their relationship.To my fabulous wicked stepmom my broken heart and condolences are with you...I love you and I know how much you loved dad!
I was always so proud of my dad as a kid...he was cool and loved sports so we always had a baseball diamond in the backfield a basketball half court in the drive and in winter...the patio became a hockey rink...Lol I was the envy of every kid in the neighborhood!! Ding- dong the doorbell would ring and I'd open the door to 5 guys standing there with bats and mitts hi mike...is your dad home? can he come out and play?! Lol... More importantly my dad was a good an honest man.He worked hard,honored his responsibilities and provided for our family a very nice life...Thank you dad...I know you made sacrifices for us and I know I didn't always appreciate it then.
Dad instilled these values in me and taught me so much more while growing up ...I am grateful for such a strong and decent man to emulate.I am grateful you are my father .We didn't always see eye to eye but along the way and in the end we loved and supported each other no matter what...you were ALWAYS there for me...thanks dad! I love you! P.S. I've realized over the years...you were right about 85 percent of the time...wish I listened to you for at least half that...watch out for me dad from above...I'll always need you and will never forget you...xomichael

Posted by Michael Kelly - Kittery, ME - Son   June 06, 2019

Jerry brought love and joy to my sister Dawn's life. I am grateful for the time they had together and mourn with Dawn at his loss.

Posted by Terry Imber - Cathedral city, CA - Family   June 06, 2019

Wishing you an easy passage, Jerry.

Posted by Patricia Fenton - Palm desert, CA - Friend   June 04, 2019


Family Album

Gpop & Dawn with the flower girls, Savannah and Scarlett
The Stone Family
Loving Sisters

Family Album


Family Album

A hard game
Ronnie with big brother
The Bros

Family Album

Jerry & Pat with Michael and Chris
Beautiful Aimee and Jerry
Aimee & Chick with Jerry & Jeff
Happy Mom and Dad with toddler Jerry
Ronnie, Jerry, Jeff & Ronnie
Aimee and Chick with Jeff, Jerry, Ronnie & Rosemary

Family Album

Visiting Mammoth
The Quiet Man 2013
Jerry at Cape Cod

Family Album

Chris & her Dad
Proud Dad and Son
Gpops with Savannah, Scarlett & Georgia
Visiting an old friend 2013
The Altar Boys
Looking for trouble

Family Album

Jerry (hands on hips), Aunt Kay to his right, Mom in the pool, Skip to Mom's left, little kids ?
Jerry and Jeff in backyard Kingsessing Ave.
Jerry and Jeff back steps Kingsessing Ave.
Jeff, Dawn, Jerry - Venice Beach
Jerry ice hockey
Jerry playing basketball

Family Album

Jerry and Jeff in Mammoth Lakes 2005
Jerry, Dawn, Jeff and Shirley on vacation in Maui, Summer 2000
Kelly siblings together in a rare reunion - Charleston, South Carolina. Jeff, Ronnie, Rosemary, Jerry
Going away/Friendsgiving on Merlin Drive, 2018
Kelly Family Reunion 2009