Dr. William ‘Bill’ H. Kelly

Sept. 13, 1947 - Feb. 16, 2007

Dr. William "Bill" H. Kelly of Waukesha died peacefully, but still ticked off at his cancer, Friday, Feb. 16, 2007, at age 59. Bill was born Sept. 13, 1947, and was raised in Spokane, Wash., by his parents, Wilfred and Bessie Kelly.

He attended Gonzaga Preparatory High School, Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University and the University of Washington Dental School where he met the love of his life, Kathleen Flynn. They married March 18, 1972. Following his graduation, he trained at Fort Benning, Ga., served at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mount Clemens, Mich., and completed his endodontic training at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital at Long Beach, Calif. After moving to Wisconsin in 1977, Bill joined the 452nd General Hospital Army Reserve Unit where duty called upon him to handle not just dentistry, but many tasks, such as rifle range instructor. As part of his military service, he traveled to Guyana with his unit to perform medical humanitarian work. After 30 years, he retired as a colonel from the Army.

As chief of endodontics at the Zablocki Veteran’s Hospital in Milwaukee, his dedication to the military was recognized by his patients. Bill loved his conversations with them, feeling it was important to know all he could about where and how they had served their country. Education and teaching were very important in his life and for 16 years he directed the General Practice Residency Program at the V.A. center while teaching and lecturing in the Department of Endodontics at Marquette University School of Dentistry for 29 years. It brought him great joy to be able to share his experiences and knowledge with his students and counted them as well as the faculty and staff as good friends.

Following his retirement from the V.A. center, Bill was given the opportunity to work at Doral Dental as a consultant and enjoyed the work and the wonderful people very much. His career also gave him the chance to write, speak, serve on accreditation teams, travel to Micronesia for the Department of the Interior and much more.

The St. William Parish community was a big part of his life. He enjoyed coaching softball for his daughter’s school team, working on parish and school projects as well as serving on the parish council and acting as president of the St. William School Board.

Bill loved to travel, traveling to 49 states and five different countries. During his travels, he could partake in one of his other favorite hobbies, photography, where his family could stand by "patiently" while he took another picture of another rock! He also loved bicycling, and in the summer of 2005, biked more than 2,541 miles (equivalent of coast to coast). Bill also loved working in the yard, building rock walls, woodworking, fixing antique clocks, tinkering in his workshop and taking his granddaughters to the park. He was also willing to help out a friend or neighbor and never completed a visit to either daughters’ home without asking if there was a house project he could help out with. He was also a favorite friend of all of the dogs on the street, never going outside without dog treats in his pocket.

Bill will be deeply missed by his beloved wife of 34 years, Kathleen; daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Paul Hetland of Freeport, Minn.; daughter, Colleen Kelly of Pewaukee; granddaughters, Kathleen and Claire Hetland of Freeport; mother, Bessie Kelly of Waukesha; sister and brother-in-law, Patricia and Frank Crowe of Williamsburg, Va.; brother-in-law, Michael Flynn and his wife Joan of University Place, Wash.; niece, Kelly Flynn of Brussels, Belgium; along with many other family members and friends. Bill was welcomed into heaven by his father, Wilfred Kelly; father-in-law and mother-in-law Joseph and Marjorie Flynn; infant daughter, Bridget Mary; infant grandchild, Riley Francis Hetland; and his much loved dogs, Boomer, Taffy and Sandy.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until the 7 p.m. Mass on Thursday, Feb. 22, at St. William Catholic Church, 440 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha, with the Rev. Leonard Barbian officiating. A private family burial will be held at a later date at Prairie Home Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Poor Clare Sisters of Spokane, Wash., 4419 N. Hawthorne St., Spokane, WA 99205; Endodontic Department of Marquette School of Dentistry, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201; or St. William Catholic Church, 440 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha, WI 53188.

The family would like to thank those that cared for him: Dr. Lawrence Burkert, the staff of the oncology department at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, AngelsGrace Hospice and all of the friends and family who gave their support in food, snow shoveling and love.

For more information, call Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home and Cremation Services at 542-6609 or visit www.waukeshafuneralhome.com for online obituaries, directions or condolences.