Raphael Michael Kelly


Raphael Michael Kelly, 77, of Ponte Vedra Beach, died April 14, 2017, after a valiant battle with cancer. Nicknamed Ray, but affectionately known as Muldoon, the Commissioner, Lieutenant, Irish or of course The King, he was born in Brooklyn, New York Feb. 26, 1940. Raised in Garden City, New York, Ray graduated from Chaminade High School and then attended the University of Notre Dame, where his love of all things Irish began. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1961, he joined the Marines and after five years departed the service with the rank of captain.

Ray began his successful career as a financial advisor in 1965, retiring as senior vice president of investments from UBS in 2011. He was a highly respected securities industry leader and served as chairman of the Southern District of the National Association of Security Dealers. Ray was also active civically. He was president of the Duval County American Cancer Society and chairman of the board for the University Club of Jacksonville. He was also appointed to the Ponte Vedra Board of Adjustments. And of course, he remained faithful and dedicated to his alma mater and served as president of the Notre Dame Alumni Association International.

In 1964, he married his wife of 52.9 years, Mary “Molly” Foley Kelly. Together, Molly and Ray raised three wise, wonderful and witty daughters in Ponte Vedra Beach, where they have lived since 1970. His daughters are his oldest Grace Gambel (Patrick), Jean “Beaner” Brown (Greg) and Elizabeth “Buffy or Pooh Bear” Kennedy (Jeffrey). He has eight grandchildren who will miss and always fondly remember their “King.”

Beyond his many accomplishments in life, Ray was known for his larger than life personality, love of travel and golf and his complete lack of handiness. He loved Ponte Vedra and spending his summers in Linville, North Carolina – and all the cherished friendships he had in both of his home cities and across the U.S. made throughout childhood, high school, college, the Marines and his career. Friendships and time with the boys were so special to Ray, especially since his retirement, which allowed him to have lunch with his crew every Monday and Thursday at Aqua Grill, faithfully served by Pumpkin.

Ray is survived by his wife and three daughters and his eight grandchildren. Starting with the eldest Patrick Ryan Gambel (who, incidentally, lives in New Orleans and sells insurance – so let us know if he can help you out – wink, wink), Mary Ellen Gambel, Katherine Grace Gambel, Grace Elizabeth Brown, Teresa Ann Brown, William Raphael Brown, Kayla Grace Kennedy and Shane Patrick Kennedy. He is also survived by his siblings Geraldine Ann Kelly, John Stephen Kelly and Kathleen Eleanor Kelly; brothers-in-law Samuel John Foley and Michael Francis Foley; nephew Samuel John Foley (Diane) and niece Samantha Foley Davidson; and grandnephews Samuel and Connor Foley. He is preceded in death by his parents Albert and Eleanor Kelly, brother Albert Kelly and sister-in-law Kathleen Foley.

A memorial mass to celebrate Ray’s life was held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church of Ponte Vedra Beach Friday, April 21, 2017. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Community Hospice & Palliative Care of North Florida at 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257.

Please visit the online tribute at www.quinn-shalz.com. Services are under the direction and care of Quinn-Shalz Family Funeral Home in Jacksonville Beach.