Michael R. Kelly, 53, of Church Street, Woodstock, passed away Sunday, May 24, 2009 at his residence He had recently moved from the Woodstock area where he had been a resident for almost 20 years.
He was born July 21, 1955 in San Francisco, Cali., son of the late Robert S. and Martha Ward Kelly.
Michael was a kind soul, and an experienced man with many talents which he shared with all of us. His passion for playing his mountain Dulcimer was a treat for anyone who heard it. He enjoyed bluegrass music, had a talent for writing both music and poetry and was a regular on the Woodstock Green with his fiddle. We will all miss his quick wit and sweet manner, but know we were all blessed to have had him in our lives.
Michael had been involved in various different organizations, “The Rainbow Gatherings” in the Western United States and as an advocate for “Family of Woodstock” here in the Catskills as well. He helped to man the volunteer Hot-Line at Family. He was active with the Pine Hill Community Center and known for his participation in making chili for the Pine Hill Chili Festival.
For over a decade he rode the freight trains throughout the United States, providing him with many adventures to share. He quipped that you didn’t get into trouble, if you knew the folks along the rails. He had a great ability to tend to details, and a wonderful appreciation for nature.
He was part of the “green – movement,” endeavoring not to be wasteful in any way, long before it became popular. His Irish Heritage was very important to him. This was often apparent in his music.
For years, he helped maintain swimming pools in the area for many loyal Ulster and Delaware County customers. Michael also worked as a lift operator at Belleayre Mountain in the winter seasons. With his commanding physical presence, and personality, no one will forget the Santa Claus hat which he wore most days at the mountain, which brought many smiles.
We all love you Michael. Thank you for everything you taught us.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Michael will be held on Friday, June 5 at the E.B. Gormley Funeral Home, 87 Main Street, Phoenicia. Friends will gather at 7 p.m. and the service will begin at 8 p.m. Anyone may post a memory that might be shared at Michael’s service at www.gormleyfuneralhome.com.