William Tolson (Bill) Kelly died peacefully at home on April 2 in Phoenix. Bill was 86.
Born in Bronxville, N.Y. and raised in Scarsdale, N.Y., he went to junior high school in Darien. He then attended prep school in Andover, Mass., graduating in 1947, moving on to Yale University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration. During that time, he was a stage manager and president of the Yale “Dramat” Dramatic Association.
In 1952, Bill began work in Bennington, Vt., with Eveready Batteries. There he met Jane States, and they were married in 1954. From 1954 to 1956, Bill was drafted into the Army Chemical Corps. He was stationed in Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md., where his first son, William States Kelly, was born.
After the Army, Bill returned to work for Eveready in Cleveland, Ohio, where his sons John Dunham and Patick Vizard Kelly were born. In 1963, Bill was transferred to the New York City corporate headquarters of Union Carbide, the parent company of Eveready Batteries, where he worked until he retired in 1987. Bill and Jane raised their three children in Wilton and were married for 22 years before divorcing in 1975.
— This obituary previously was published in the Arizona Republic
Today, the oldest son Bill is retired after a successful career in information engineering and resides in Holmes Beach, Fl. John is a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. John’s two daughters are in school, one a college senior and the other a graduate student. Patrick, an energy executive, and his family live in Hinsdale, Ill. Patrick’s son and daughter are in grade school.
In 1976, Rosemary (Posie) Carson, whom Bill had first met in college, re-entered his life. They were married in 1977. Posie’s three children, Rick, Sherry, and Jim, became part of Bill’s extended family. They all live in San Diego County. After Bill’s retirement, Bill and Posie moved from Connecticut to Sedona, Ariz. for 22 years, enjoying golf and exploring their favorite spots in Arizona and throughout the United States, Ireland, and Europe. Posie died in 2012 in Phoenix.
Since moving with Posie to Sagewood in Phoenix in 2011, Bill led an active community life and returned to his interest in theater. Bill is survived by six children and stepchildren, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was much loved and will be greatly missed by family and friends.
A funeral Mass for William Tolson Kelly III is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 21, at St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church, 3801 E. Greenway Road in Phoenix.
Flowers are welcome or donations in memory of William Tolson Kelly III to Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Department of Development (13400 E. Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale AZ 85259) are highly appreciated by the family. Please visit the Hanson Mortuaries website for online condolences.