John J. “Bud” Kelly Jr. was born to parents John J. Kelly and Gertrude Herderich in Greenwich CT, on October 12th 1917. Bud’s parents moved to 61 Old Post Road in Rye, New York later in Bud’s childhood, back when Rye was just a small town with a population of 9,865. His father was the manager of a grocery store, paying a rent of $45/month ($855 in today’s dollars) for the family home, and his parents were members of the Church of the Resurrection. Bud grew up with 3 siblings in the house for most of his life, as well as an uncle who moved in between the years 1930 and 1940. He was a graduate of Rye High School class 1936. In 1940 John was 22 years old, the year before he had earned $480 ($9,120 in today’s dollars) and worked 40 weeks of the year as a maintenance man for Playland Park.
Bud registered for the WWII draft on October 16th, 1940, then served from January 21st, 1941 until he was discharged in November of 1945. During his service on October 11th, 1942, he was granted leave, upon returning to Rye,
Bud married Mary Veronica Maloney on October 11, 1942, in Rye, New York. They had one child during their marriage.
Afterwards he would find
himself in places such as Italy, France, and Germany. Bud served in the U. S.
14th Armored Division as Captain, Company Commander and supply officer in the divisions Combat Command Reserve CCR, attaining the rank of Captain and serving under General Patton. This unit participated in campaigns through the Vosges Mountains, Alsatian Plain, and Germany.
Awarded the Bronze Star for resupply of Infantry Battalions in the Maritime Alps utilizing pack mule trains; Oak Leaf Cluster added for meritorious achievement in the Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen; French citations for acting as liaison with French troops during the Allemande campaign. His command is remembered for liberating the Moosburg Concentration Camp in Germany.
After his discharge Bud worked in the automobile business up to his retirement in 1990. He retired as the General Manager of Royal Motors in White Plains. Over his life he remained faithfully married to his wife up to 60 years until her death in 2002, as well as being a parishioner of the Resurrection Church and member of the Coveleigh club for fifty years. He was also a loyal volunteer and member of the Ethics Committee at United Hospital until it closed.
John J. “Bud” Kelly Jr. Passed away on Monday April 12, 2010 in Greenwich Hospital after a brief illness. At the time of his death he was survived by his daughter, Nancy Kelly Smith (Christopher), a sister, Elanor Lush, and a brother, Daniel Jordan Kelly both of Rye; three grandchildren: Lynn Driver of Wilton, CT, Wendy Swiggett of Berkeley, CA, and Timothy Smith of Brielle, NJ; six great-grandchildren: Madeline, Sophie, Evan, Emma, Grant and Luke, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Sources: 1940 Census, WWII Draft Card, Obituary, Enlistment Record