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In Memory of Dr. William "Bill" Kelly

Dr. William C. Kelly, “Bill”, age 84, of Hudson, WI, Passed away unexpectedly at his home Sunday, June 7th, 2020. Bill was born January 11, 1936 in Superior, Wisconsin to Charles and Reba (Coyne) Kelly. He received his undergraduate degree while playing football at the University of Wisconsin Superior, and continued on to receive his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Bill was very dedicated to education, he was a teacher, professor, as well as superintendent for Hudson School District. Bill was also a professor at UW River Falls and St. Mary’s University. His greatest dedication however was to the love of his life Marianne (Wittwer), the two were married July 6, 1957, in Appleton, WI and they were blessed with two daughters Bridget and Kristina. 

Bill made everything great. When the young family moved to Hudson during a 4th of July weekend they pulled right up to Birkmose Park to watch the fireworks, to which Bill pronounced, “Look kids, They knew the Kelly’s were moving to town.” Bill absolutely loved his family, he even had 3 sailboats named Marianne, and a couple named BriTina after his daughters. 

In his younger days Bill was a ball boy for the NY Football Giants, played minor league baseball, was a radio DJ and sports announcer. He enjoyed Jazz music, John Grisham novels and was a passionate fan of the Minnesota Vikings. Bill was a Past Master Mason and Shriner for over 45 years.

Bill and Marianne owned one of only three 1942, 32 foot Cris-Craft boats ever produced. He loved boating and sailing. For a season, Bill and Marianne owned a furniture restoration business in Hudson. He also was part owner of the Shady Grove Supper Club in Ellsworth.

Bill and Marianne loved to travel; Cancun, Eastern Coast of Canada, Alaska, and many cross-country bus trips.

Bill remains in the hearts of his beloved wife of nearly 63 years, Marianne; his daughters Bridget (Shane Pruitt) Kelly, and Kristina (Bradford) Grisi, brother-in-law Dave (LuLu) Wittwer, as well as many nieces and nephews and other friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and step dad Oscar Hagen.

 A private Masonic Service will take place Friday, June 12th at 1:00pm . A gathering of family and friends (Respecting social distancing and encouraging masks) will be between the hours 2:00 and 4:00 pm Friday June 12, 2020 at The O’Connell Family Funeral Home 520 11th Street, Hudson WI. 54016.

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Dr. William "Bill"'s Tribute Wall

Tributes (3):

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    • Very saddened by the loss of my cousin. He was always so involved in every major family event. There are many wonderful memories of times we shared growing up.i am keeping Marianne and his daughters in prayer to have the Lord guide them through this time. I am not able to join the services however will be holding the family and memories Bill and I shared together.

    • To my Dearest Kelly family…my heart and love goes out to all of you in this time of sorrow and sadness. Bill was such a wonderful kind hearted man and will be missed by all that knew him. We had so many long chat’s about our families, and they always turned back to the amount of love he had for the women in his life. I’m so happy you came to Hudson when you did. My time with all of you that I shared made me feel like I was a Kelly too. Thank you so much for making me apart of your life’s journey. I will miss Bill greatly, and his dry sense of humor. Only I could appreciate something I grew up with.
      Bill left such a great legacy in Bridget and Tina, and the pride he had in you.
      I love you all so very much and know that my heart ache’s for you.
      With you in sorrow ~
      Ann O’Brien* and family💔😢❤

    • To Bill’s 3 ‘Girls’ – So very sad for you. I will always be grateful for Bill’s willingness to accept the Interim Superintendent’s position for the Hudson School District in 1991. I was Board President at that time and he did a great job stepping in and helping the Board in a difficult time.
      Chuck & I always enjoyed a spirited chat with Bill & Marianne at local ‘fish fry’s’!