Michael Eugene Kelly was a man of high integrity and unconditional love for his family. His legacy is his deep commitment to giving his wife and three daughters a better life than the one into which he was born. Michael very rarely spoke of his childhood, and instead kept a laser focus on the future. Through dedication, grit, intellect and a bit of luck, Michael built an incredible life, using Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as his North Star.
In his twenties, Michael set his sights on higher education and graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Thereafter, he took a job at Allstate Insurance Company where he met and fell in love with his wife, Barbara. Together, they never looked back, and over fifty plus years built a life in the northwest suburbs of Chicago filled with love, laughter and happiness with their three daughters and eight grandchildren.
Michael was happiest when he was with his family. Whether it was traveling to Aruba to avidly read on the beach while watching his grandchildren play, spending a month in Arizona for Chicago Cubs spring training baseball (while also being a beloved White Sox fan), setting sail on the high seas for a river cruise adventure with Barbara or just embracing the normalcy of hosting Sunday night meals at his house - seeing everyone having a great time, creating memories and being together filled his heart with joy and was the true measure of his success.
Michael was a loyal family man with a giving and kind spirit, sense of humor, and at times Irish stubbornness. He shaped his family into who we are today, often using words of wisdom to help guide us. If he wanted to put things into perspective he would remind us that “things can be replaced, people cannot” or “if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.” When giving guidance about being introduced to someone, he would say “always have a strong handshake and look people in the eye.” When it came to marriage, he wisely advised “forever is a long time.” Though he was taken from us much too soon, there is no doubt that his wisdom will live on within the family for generations.
Michael is survived by his loving wife Barbara Kelly (Lake in the Hills, Illinois) and devoted daughters Shannon (Christopher) Stephen (Cary, Illinois), Colleen (Stuart) Hemmings (Barrington, Illinois) and Kathleen (Michael) Waitzman (Moraga, California), as well as by his incredible grandchildren Kiley and Hailey Stephen, Prestyn, Grace and Hayden Hemmings, and Nathaniel, Maxwell and Theodore Waitzman.
And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friends, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
(1969 “My Way” performed by Frank Sinatra written by Paul Anka)
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Eugene Kelly, please visit our floral store.