Joseph E. Kelly, 86


Joseph E. Kelly, 86, of Hartford, passed away Friday, June 4, 2010, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on Aug. 22, 1923, in Rubicon, the son of John and Caroline (nee Klink) Kelly.

Joe graduated from Hartford Union High School in 1941, and on May 25, 1946, married Anna Hauser, the daughter of Ben and Anna (nee Christ) Hauser at St. John’s Catholic Church in Rubicon. Joe worked at West Bend Aluminum and took over the operation of his father’s farm, "Kelly’s Hill," after his father’s death in 1950. In addition to farming, he started Kelly’s School Bus Service to serve Rubicon Township (Saylesville School). Joe operated the bus service from 1954 through 1992 without leaving anyone behind at the bus stop. A hard-working entrepreneur, Joe also operated Kelly’s Painting Service. He taught all his sons how to paint and each served an unofficial apprenticeship under him.

On July 28, 1978, Anna passed away. Joe married Sandra Zindler in Waukesha in 1981. Joe lived a full and colorful life. He enjoyed many sports, and he played for the Rubicon Red Sox in the Rock River League. He loved Wisconsin’s athletic teams – the Packers and the Brewers. He was very well liked by the people in the community. In his retirement, Joe was able to travel to many places with his wife, Sandra. Joe was community - minded and demonstrated this belief as a past member of the Hartford Lions Club.

Joe is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Sandra; and his beloved children, Michael (Terry) Kelly, Joe Pat (Janet) Kelly, Jim (Diane) Kelly, Rick (Kathy) Kelly, Tim (Debbie) Kelly, Karen (Chuck Walker) Kelly, Jim (Jean) Meidenbauer, Donna (Mark Mueller) Meidenbauer and Pam (Keith) Runnells. Also surviving are 21 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Joe is preceded in death by his first wife, Anna; his brother, Bill Kelly; his sisters, Celeste Walker Wells, San Winterhalter, Lucille Paulson, Sr. Mary Carol Kelly and Dorie Greider.

Visitation is Saturday, June 26, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Hartford Senior Center. Funeral service and a celebration of Joe’s life, will follow at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center. Following the celebration of Joe’s life, a dinner will be served. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Salvation Army, Milwaukee Rescue Mission or Compassion International would be appreciated.

The Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home – Hartford is serving the family. www.berndt-ledesma.com.