Lt. Col. (Ret.) Charles Aloysius Kelly Sr.

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, December 2, 2017

Lt. Colonel Charles A. Kelly, U.S. Air Force Retired, age 90, of Huntsville, Alabama, died November 29, 2017 at home, surrounded by his loving family.

Colonel Kelly was born in Matawan, New Jersey, in 1927.  His decorated 23-1/2 year career in the military took him around the world several times.  His military service included duty with the U. S. Marine Corps during World War II before enlisting in the Air Force as a pilot and then serving in the Korean War flying the forward air command where he was shot down twice in service to our country. After his years of service in the Korean War, he became an instructor pilot which led him to Craig Air Force Base in Selma, Alabama, where he met his future bride, Mary Sue McNeil of Old Texas, Alabama, on Water Avenue. During his career, he flew over 23 different planes for the Air Force.  He truly loved to fly and to serve his country.  He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross; the Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster; the Air Medal, with one Oak Leaf Cluster; and various service medals and unit citations.  Before retiring from the U. S. Air Force in 1970, Colonel Kelly served in the Strategic Air Command while assigned to Offutt A.F.B. in Nebraska, and his final duties were with the missile command at Vandenberg A.F.B. in California.

In his retirement, the family returned to Selma where he worked for base housing.  In 1977, the Colonel relocated to Shalimar, Florida, where he worked in security systems with Vitro and RCA.  There he was a member of The Eglin Officers Club, the NW Florida Retired Officers Club, The Air Force Association, the Knights of Columbus and The Hurlburt Field Golf Club.  In 1998, he moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where he was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

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He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles John and Margaret Jastrab Kelly; his loving wife of 54 years, Mary Sue; and both of his brothers, John George and Michael Patrick Kelly from South Amboy, New Jersey.  Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Theresa and Catesby Jones of Selma,  Deborah and Wayne Schrenk of Huntsville, and Charlotte and Wesley Autry of Huntsville; his son, Charles A. Kelly, Jr. of Homewood, Alabama; his sister, Margaret Kelly Dugan of Freehold, New Jersey; five grandchildren, Roger Jones (Sarah), Kelly Gould (Alex),  Rebecca Schrenk, Paxton Kelly and Charles A. Kelly, III; step-grandsons, Aaron and Ryan Schrenk; two great- grandsons, Welles Gould and Catesby Jones, IV; and many nieces and nephews.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Society of St. Vincent DePaul at Holy Spirit Catholic Church or Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial.

Visitation will be at 1:00 p.m., Monday, December 4, 2017, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Huntsville, followed by Mass at 2:00 p.m.  After the service, Colonel Kelly will be buried next to his loving wife at Hampton Cove Cemetery, Hampton Cove, Alabama.