Remembering Our Founder
William A. “Bill” Kelly’s Legacy
Bill Kelly, 65, left this world too soon.
The president of Kelly Financial Services and an esteemed financial professional, philanthropist, radio host, gifted public speaker, author, visionary and family man died of a heart attack on Oct. 15, 2017, while visiting the Dominican Republic with his family. He left behind his adoring wife, Kelly, and their two loving children, Mary Madeline and William Jr., as well as extended family in Rhode Island and Georgia, plus thousands of clients and colleagues grateful to have known this kind, generous man.
Bill co-founded Kelly Financial Services with his wife, Kelly, in 2003. Four years later, Bill began hosting a Saturday morning radio show called “Safe Money Strategies™” on WRKO. He used the call-in show as a forum to discuss financial matters, the economy, politics and cultural issues. He often talked about the lessons he learned growing up on a farm in Rhode Island and believed it his calling to openly share his Christian faith and values.
In 2015, Bill wrote his autobiography, “Bailey Brook Farm,” a collection of essays inspired by his childhood memories and conversations from his radio show. Bill also penned such investment guides as Safe Money Strategies: Retirement Survival for Seniors (2005) and The Stock Market Heart Attack (2010).
A great philanthropist, Bill supported many charitable and religious organizations, particularly those serving veterans, minorities, the elderly and children.
“Bill was an ardent and tireless advocate for the poor, the needy and the downtrodden,” said Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. “He just didn’t talk the talk. He walked the walk, each and every day.”
Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Bill graduated from Middletown High School in 1970, where he was a National Merit Scholar. While attending the University of Rhode Island, he served in the U.S. Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 1975. He later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served another four years as an avionics engineer, pioneering computer guidance systems for the F-15 jet fighter.
Bill 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.
One of Bill’s dear friends was Jeff Kuhner, host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO, and someone who referred to Bill as “a giant of a man.”
“What I admired most about Bill was that he never forgot where he came from,” Jeff said. “He knew the value of money, and never lost connection to his hardscrabble childhood. He was very generous with his employees and staff. He believed in the Catholic principle of paying a living wage. He was a Christian businessman who understood that, along with wealth, there was a responsibility to care for one’s workers and fellow citizens — especially, the poor and most vulnerable.”
Although Bill’s family, friends and clients miss him terribly, they are committed to moving forward with their lives, as Bill would have wanted. Bill also would have been immensely proud of his wife and children, who are working hard every day to carry on his legacy of faith, family and helping people be the best they can.
| Read more of Jeff Kuhner’s moving tribute to Bill Kelly here.
| Read Bill's Eulogy by John Budris here