James P. Kelly

February 14, 1942 ~ September 13, 2021 (age 79)


James Patrick Kelly died peacefully after a long illness on Monday, September 13, 2021.

His life took him in many directions from being a commercial property owner and manager to a history teacher, and guidance counselor. However, most will remember him best as the co-owner and director extraordinaire of Meadowcroft Day Camp in Norwell, MA (1976 - 2014).

He was born on February 14, 1942 and grew up in New York City. He spent time in Chicago and Seattle for school and work and eventually settled in MA, where he lived for 50 years.  His love for children and all people was evident the minute you met him. He inspired and supported many dreams by instilling the mantra “the only person who stops you is yourself”. This was true for him and everyone whom he guided along the way. 

He finished each camp day by singing to all “the sun will come out tomorrow!” Words he (and all those who listened) took to heart each day. It was no surprise then, that the day he passed, the sun was out and shining bright. The family would like to thank the NVNA Hospice for their exceptional care.

He is  survived by his wife of 51 years Eileen (Lesko) Kelly, his children Brian Kelly and his wife Dawn, Natasha (Kelly) Withers and her husband Averell and their 3 children Bronwyn, Kestrel, Aurelia, his sisters Margaret Kelly, Rose McTague and many more beloved relatives.

His ashes will be spread at sea in a private ceremony so that he may continue his love for traveling the world forever. Please join us to celebrate his life with an ice cream party on Oct 23 at The Kelly Residence 11 am-2pm, Covid vaccine and masks please. In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to the American Camping Association ( to continue the ongoing support of high quality camps for children. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for James

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Norwell

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