Thomas J. “Tom” Kelly
Dec. 27, 1944 - May 5, 2009
Thomas J. (Tom) Kelly has left this world after 64-years, passing on Tuesday, May 5, 2009.
Born on December 27, 1944 in Liberty, NY, Tom served as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, soldier, educator, mentor, and friend to many.
He leaves behind his wife of 40-years, Rae Ann; daughter, Laura with husband, Rick Takagi; son, TJ with wife, Sarah; grandchildren: Delaney, Ethan, Gabriel, Addison, and Isaac; and two brothers, Terrence and Timothy.
Retiring in 1996 as a full Colonel of Infantry, Tom completed 30-years in the U.S. Army serving throughout the United States, and in Europe, Asia, South East Asia and Central America. Among his military decorations are 3 Silver Stars, 2 Legions of Merit, 3 Bronze Stars for Valor, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
He served with the 2d BN-2d INF, 1st Infantry Div and the 2d BN, 1st Special Forces Group in VietNam. He also served in peacetime with 101st ABN Div (AALT), 8th Inf Div, commanded th 5th BN-21st INF, 7th Infantry Div (L) and the Ft. Lewis Readiness Group.
After retirement from the Army, Tom entered K-12 education as an administrator. Serving first with the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Washington spending 2 of these years as Deputy Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer. He later served as the Superintendent of the North Mason School District.
Tom greatly enjoyed working with others and had a well-deserved reputation for fairness and honesty. He prided himself in being a mentor to younger, developing soldiers, administrators and teachers. Tom always tried to make a positive difference in every situation and greatly respected the dignity of everyone, recognized their innate goodness.
A physical fitness enthusiast, Tom enjoyed cycling with his son, golfing with his wife and friends, hiking, backpacking, skiing, and most of all playing with his grandchildren.
“I am grateful for the many opportunities the Good Lord has provided for me. My life was exciting and fun. I met and enjoyed many people, from many cultures in many countries. God provided me a wonderful family who brought me great joy. My wife Rae Ann is a wonderful strong woman who is my best friend. I extend my thanks to all those with whom I have had the pleasure of being involved with over the many years. God has been good to me and my family!”
Vigil was held Friday, May 8 at Gaffney Funeral Home Chapel, 1002 S. Yakima, Tacoma, Wash.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, May 9, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1001 N J St., Tacoma, WA 98405.
Interment will be made in Tahoma National Cemetery with full Military Honors, Tuesday, May 12 at 10:15 a.m.
Arrangements by Harris Memorials, Liberty, NY; 845-292-0001.
Ruth L. Yonteff, 89
Nov. 25, 1919 - May 10, 2009
Ruth L. Yonteff of Milford, Pa., formerly of Ferndale, NY, died Sunday, May 10, 2009 at the Milford Senior Care Center where she had resided for several months. Ruth was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1919. Her family moved to Sullivan County when she was a young girl. Her parents, Edward and Jenny Levy, owned Levy’s Poultry Farm in Ferndale. She graduated from Liberty High School and from Sullivan County Community College and became a Psychiatric Social Worker for the State of New York. She worked at the Middletown Psychiatric Center and at the Liberty Mental Health Clinic. After retirement, she moved to Winchester, Va. to be near her son and his family. Seven years ago she moved in with her daughter and son-in-law in Milford, Pa.
Ruth loved the animals and flowers. She could talk to wild deer and they would walk closer to her, the local joke being that during deer season Ruthie kept all the deer safe in her garage. She loved reading, the color yellow, and the Jersey Shore. She painted in oils during her younger years. Her working career was varied but her greatest love was helping people in her work as a therapist. She was very proud to have been the chair of the team-written paper “Long-Acting Fluphenazine Decanoate Treatment and Hospital Re-admission Rate” published in 1977.
She was married to Charles Yonteff of Bayonne, NJ, who predeceased her. She is survived by her two children, Mark Yonteff and Stacey Gregory; two grandchildren, David Yonteff and Jenni Shekels; one great-granddaughter, LilyAnn Shekels; and her brother, Leonard Levy of Liberty, NY.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, May 12 at 12 noon at the Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home, 388 Broadway, Monticello with Rabbi Michelle Medwin officiating. Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sullivan County SPCA, 25 Rock Hill Drive, Rock Hill, NY 12775.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home of Monticello. For additional information please visit www.josephngarlickfuneral home.com.