Bill Kelly's Eulogy by John Budris
KELLY, William A. "Bill" Financial Advisor, Radio Host, Author, and Philanthropist Died of a heart attack on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at the age of 65, while visiting the Dominican Republic with his family.
Mr. Kelly was the president of Kelly Financial Services, based in Braintree, which he co-founded in 2003 with his wife, Kelly. His Saturday morning radio show on WRKO, Senior Safe Money Strategies, began in 2007 as a mixture of financial advice and homespun wisdom, some drawn from childhood remembrances growing up on a farm in Rhode Island. His trademark delivery was to capture the values of decency of a bygone era and to openly convey the depth of his Christian faith.
The radio show broke new ground in the call-in show genre by combining direct marketing with analysis of the economy, finances, politics and cultural issues. He received calls from listeners, often prompted by his captivating boyhood lessons. His autobiography, Bailey Brook Farm (2015) consists of a collection of essays informed by those radio chats and childhood memories.
Mr. Kelly also penned investment guides such as Senior Safe Money Strategies: Retirement Survival for Seniors (2005) and The Stock Market Heart Attack (2010), plus many financial reports and advisories.
"In a way, Bill wrote his own eulogy in his memoir of growing up on Bailey Brook Farm, " eulogized family friend John Budris at a funeral mass held at St. Clare Parish in Braintree. "He learned to be a good man from the hardships his grandfather endured; he learned the heart and soul of business and honesty from his paper route. According to Bill, the only book anyone would need as the roadmap for a good life was The Boy Scout Handbook," said Budris.
As a philanthropist, he supported many charitable and religious organizations, particularly those providing services to veterans, minorities, the elderly and children. Bishop Arthur Kennedy, a frequent guest on the radio show, praised Mr. Kelly's legacy of charitable giving during the funeral.
"Bill was an ardent and tireless advocate for the poor, the needy, and the downtrodden," noted Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and US Ambassador to the Vatican. "He just didn't talk the talk. He walked the walk, each and every day."
WRKO personality Jeff Kuhner and his wife, Dr. Grace Vuoto, honored Mr. Kelly's life and career during a three-hour tribute on his Saturday morning radio program.
"He was a great patriot, one who did not back down, did not waver, even at personal or financial cost, in defending the values that made this country great," said Kuhner.
"While I worked with him on his show, I discovered the depth of his faith and patriotism," said Dr. Grace. "He loved the Catholic Church, he loved this great country and he was distraught at the collapse of traditional morality. Among all the causes he championed, none affected him more profoundly than that of the unborn. His bountiful, gracious heart shone through during those moments when I saw the authentic pain he felt for the weak and most vulnerable amongst us."
Mr. Kelly was born in Newport, Rhode Island and graduated from Middletown High School in 1970, where he was a National Merit Scholar. While
attending the University of Rhode Island, he was a member of the US Army National Guard, honorably discharged in 1975. He later enlisted in the US Air Force, where he served another four years as an avionics engineer, pioneering computer guidance systems for the F-15 jet fighter.
He continued his engineering work with the Bendix Aerospace Corporation. In 1984, he founded computer software company Viking Technologies, exercising the formidable leadership and business skills he would subsequently perfect in the financial services industry.
He leaves behind an extended family in Rhode Island and Georgia, as well as his adoring wife, Kelly, and his two loving children, Mary Madeline and William Jr. They will miss him intensely, while carrying on his legacy and giving thanks for the great gift of his life.
Published in The Boston Globe on Nov. 8, 2017