MADISON—Jack Kelly, 85, of Madison, a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother, passed away Monday, March 12, 2018, in the loving arms of his family.

Jack and his brother, Ron, were raised by a wonderful working mother, Esther, who instilled the strong values of family, ethics and plain old hard work. He grew up in the Dayton Street area before moving to the Camp Randall neighborhood. Sports were always his pastime, no matter what the season.

He met the love of his life, Lee McGann, while in high school at West. He played football, basketball and baseball as a Regent. He was a life guard at Willows Beach in the summers of high school and college, where Lee would often bring lunch, dinner and fresh baked cookies. He went on to college at UW-Madison through ROTC, reaching the rank of Second Lieutenant.

After graduating with a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering in 1955, he and Lee were married July 27th of that same year. Following, Jack went to boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Jan. 1, 1956, Jack was off to serve in the Army Corps of Engineers in Würzburg, Germany. Lee joined him on Good Friday of that year and they had a wonderful time exploring Germany, skiing and of course golfing on free days.

Jack started in the life insurance sales business in 1957 upon his return home. Securing his family’s financial future was his number one goal. He achieved this family success by helping others secure their financial well-being. John M. Kelly and Associates (later Kelly Financial, Inc.) operated for more than 50 years in Madison. He was involved in many service clubs, most recently the Waisman Center.

While their first baby (Sue) was born in Germany, the next four (Scott, Carrie, Tricia and Jerry) were all born in Madison. The evolution of kids on the sidelines while Dad played City League softball and basketball soon became Mom and Dad as spectators for swimming, diving, gymnastics, football, skiing, baseball, hockey…and of course, golf.

Jack and Lee, both great golfers (currently both tied with 12 holes in one), traveled the world with friends and family enjoying the game of golf and experiencing new courses. They were members of Maple Bluff Country Club for over 50 years; wintered in Jupiter, Fla.; and spent much of their summers in Minocqua. He was a lifelong Badger and Packer fan but enjoyed all sports.

Jack was a builder and a planner, he always enjoyed having a new project. Most recently he undertook an addition to their Minocqua home, knowing that even if there was a possibility he would not see it to completion, it would be for the comfort and enjoyment of his family, which he cherished. Thanks Dad, we love you.

Jack is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lee; his children, Sue (Joe) Gambardella of Haworth, N.J.; Scott (Gigi) Kelly of Monona; Carrie (Pete) Waite of Madison; Tricia (Sather) Ranum of Belvidere, Ill.; Jerry (Carol) Kelly of Madison; six grandchildren, Joe, Ryan (Carissa), Eric (Katie), Will, Kelly and Cooper; two great-grandchildren, Jocelyn and Keira; brother, Ron; and many other relatives and friends.

Jack was preceded in death by his mother, Esther; father and mother-in-law, Louis and Nola McGann.

A special thank you to his caregiver, Suzie.

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A private family burial will be held Saturday, March 17, 2018. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 17, 2018, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at MAPLE BLUFF COUNTRY CLUB, 500 Kensington Drive, Madison, WI 53704.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jack’s name to the Waisman Center, Agrace HospiceCare or a charity of your choice.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

the life of: Kelly, John M.
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