KELLY, Michael James, age 76, of Kettering, formerly of Oakwood, passed away Monday, January 10, 2022. Michael was born November 8, 1945 to John and Frances (Minkus) Kelly. A graduate of Fairmont East in 1963 and Kent State in 1967, he earned his Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1969. Michael served as Oakwood City Chief of Police, Oakwood City Manager, and a member of Oakwood Rotary.
Mikes accomplishments went far beyond the City of Oakwood and are quite extensive and impressive. To name a few, he served as the Executive Director for the RTA, chief interim for the City of Mason, and briefly taught Criminal Homicide at The University of Dayton. He received numerous awards including Public Manager of the Year, recipient of the hundred club of Dayton for his devotion for duty and outstanding leadership, the Inagural Chairman of the LEF, Inc., with the historical distinction of being the only Chief of Police who will have served in that role, recipient of the Theodore S. Jones Service award for his unselfish devotion to the professionalization of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Mike was given the high honor of being named in Book of “Who’s Who” being named the youngest chief of police in the country. In 2003 The Michael J Kelly award was created in his name recognizing his excellence and innovations in Policing. Of all his accomplishments, his most favorite by far was being a grandfather, father, brother, father in law, friend and husband. He loved his family fiercely and one of his greatest joys was watching his granddaughters, AJ and June Bug play soccer. Mikes friends were of the upmost importance to him and he would drop anything to help a friend out. One of his longest friend group being “The Shafor Shufflers” and extending over 40 years of friendship. He also maintained close contact with his Sigma Chi fraternity brothers. One of his best friends was his son in law Jason. Mike and Jason spent a lot time together these last couple months. The special relationship that they formed was undeniable and they became quite the pair. The greatest love of his life and most importantly is his “bride”, Jinny. He often shared the story of falling in love with her says that it was love at first sight. They met at the Oakwood Club where Jinny was a waitress. They were married 2 months later. They continued their Saturday night date nights throughout their 49 yrs. of marriage. They racked up quite the miles walking the sands of Hilton Head Island together. They simply just loved being in each others company and could be found enjoying a good glass of wine together. When asked if he wanted another glass, he would famously reply to Jinny, just “a splash more”. They traveled, enjoyed movies, laughed, and danced. He loved to dance and would could turn anyone into the star of the dance floor. Mike loved to write poems. Humorous and sincere. Up until his passing, he would leave Jinny love notes and poems. Being the true Irishman that he was, Mike loved a good joke and was known to tell many in his day. He kept a standing date with one of his most beloved buddies every St Patrick’s Day, often resulting in crazy adventures and stories to share. Mike was known to give the best advice and sit (with a list of course) and help you until it was settled. He also might have possibly been Michigan footballs biggest fan and was a true wolverine. Mike was a man of his word, a humble man who lived by the golden rule. Mike would want you all to know that he was at peace his last few days and was surrounded by family. Those days were filled with love and even some his famous laughs. He will be immensely missed but never forgotten.
He is preceded in death by his parents. Michael is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Virginia “Jinny” Kelly; children, Dean (Cieji) Bustle, Erin (Ryan) Box, and Karrie (Jason) Hale; grandchildren, Amanda (Chris) Johnson, John Brown, Adeline “AJ’ Hale, and June Hale; four great-grandchildren; and sister, Linda (Charles) Dobbins.
Family will greet friends from 4:00pm-7:00pm Monday, January 17 at Routsong Funeral Home, Kettering. Masks are requested by the family but not required. For those unable to attend, Mike’s services will be livestreamed on Routsong Funeral Home’s YouTube page.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 4540 Cooper Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242 or American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023 Merrifield, VA 22116. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be made at www.routsong.com.