Updated: Gerald ‘Jerry’ Kelley, 94, Began Car Rental Company

Gerald J. Kelley passed peacefully Aug. 2, surrounded by family.

He was born during a blizzard Feb. 12, 1923, at his parents’ home in Haverhill. The son of James and Susie (Molloy) Kelley, he spent most of his life in Haverhill. He attended St. James Elementary and High Schools and went on to earn a degree from Merrimack College. From school, he met his wife of 60 years, Jeanne (Everett) Kelley, who predeceased him in 2007. The newlyweds were forced to be apart during Kelley’s service, first in the Merchant Marines and then in the U.S. Army. After his honorable discharge, he came home to raise a family with Jeanne–10 children in 20 years. He worked most of his career at Western Electric in various supervisory and management capacities. After his retirement, he started a car rental company along with his son and daughter.

He loved babies and animals, and his smile could be counted on when handed a baby, kitten or  puppy. He loved sports, especially football, and could have made a career in sports broadcasting if there had been a living room league. He loved playing racquetball at the YMCA with his son Mark as his partner. He loved playing in the snow after a snowstorm, building igloos for the kids and hosing down the family’s sloped lawn to freeze it for ice skating.

He loved Haverhill and never wanted to leave it, but in recent years he moved to Methuen Village, where he met new friends.

Kelley was predeceased by his parents, Susie and James Kelley, wife Jeanne and  daughter Anne Marie. He is survived by his children, Susan Kamberalis and husband James of Palm Coast, Fla., Gerald J. Kelley Jr. and wife Dianne of Largo, Fla., Kathleen Lynch and husband Peter of Newton, N.H., Mary Wysocki of Somersworth, N.H., Maureen Kelley-Dembitz and husband Kenneth of Haverhill, Michael Kelley and partner Christine Geisler of Bridgewater Corners, Vt., Mark Kelley and wife Patricia of Haverhill, Eileen Cunsolo and husband Alfio of Methuen and Christine Kelley and partner David Adams or Haverhill; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brothers in-law Edmund (Buster) Lucey and Fred Bishop; and many nieces and nephews and .

Visitation is Sunday, Aug. 6, at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 S. Main St., Haverhill, from 2 to 4 p.m. Services begin Monday in the funeral home at 10 a.m. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. James Church, 185 Winter St., at 11 a.m. Burial with U.S. Army Honors will follow in St. James Cemetery, Primrose Street, Haverhill.