Clair Leonard Kelly II, 85, of Chambersburg, PA, passed away on April 29, 2019 at the Manor Care Rehabilitation Center in Chambersburg. His family was with him throughout his final three days, sharing stories, laughter, and tears with him and each other, sending him on with tremendous love.
Clair was predeceased by his parents, Clair L., Sr. and Faye (Wise), and his older brother, William H. He is survived by his children: Kevin M. and wife Ayano Sakai, Ronald D., Randi S., Patrick D. and wife Patricia (Kohler), and Christopher S.; his sister, Sue McMorris, her husband William and son Bill (“B.J.”); his former wife, Gloria (Ritter) McCauley, and husband Richard; grandchildren Joshua, his wife Brianna, and daughter Sloan; Cheryl and son Blake; Justin and wife Kassandra; brother Bill’s wife, Alice, their children Bill, Kathy, Mark and their families.
Clair was born in Spangler, PA on February 18, 1934. His family lived in Patton, PA until he was six, and moved to Chambersburg in 1940. He graduated from Chambersburg High School in 1952, and received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1956 from Lebanon Valley College, where he was active in theatre, student government, Knights of the Valley, and newsworthy practical jokes. He met his future wife, Gloria, at LVC. They married in 1957, settled in Chambersburg, raised their five children together for 22 years, and remained friends for the rest of his life.
From his teens, Clair worked in his father’s businesses, The Leonard Granite Co. and Wm H. Kelly & Sons, which Clair and brother Bill later ran together. After they closed the companies in 1979, he continued in the memorial and stonework professions in Pennsylvania and Maryland, eventually founding Galaxy Granites, Inc., Stones International, and Stonemasters, specializing in innovative design and unique granites. Clair was proud to be a “monument man,” and also proud to work for his son Pat’s landscaping business, G.Q. Creations, in retirement.
Clair’s many pastimes included antiques, camping, Civil War history, community theatre, armchair philosophy, birdwatching, and sleeping in hammocks. As a longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church, he taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and served as a worship assistant. He enjoyed all genres of music and film, and was a voluminous reader. Around age 70 he took up watercolor painting, becoming prolific in that, as well. Expressing his artistic nature truly inspired him, and he delighted in gifting his framed creations to family members, who will forever cherish this personal legacy. Clair was so happy to continue several lifelong friendships through their monthly “Breakfast Club.” His greatest pleasure was spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Dad, Brother, Pappy, Papa, Poppy, and Great-Pappy (a/k/a “Claribel,” “Eber,” “Clair the Bear,” “Papa Bear”), Thank you so much for sharing with us your love, wisdom, guidance, humor, and your many personal gifts. We love you beyond measure, and are glad you are at peace in the next realm.
The family will receive friends at Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home, 725 Norland Avenue, Chambersburg, on Friday, May 3, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. A funeral service will immediately follow at 3:00. Interment will be at Norland Cemetery.
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