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Gerard Kelly: The Wantagh resident was a stand-up Marine until the end

Gerard Kelly died at 87 of complications from

Gerard Kelly died at 87 of complications from COVID-19, according to his family. Credit: Anne Rosenfeld

A Brooklyn native. A Long Island resident since 1969. A passionate Brooklyn Dodgers fan who, like so many, became a Mets fan when the Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1957. A devoted husband, a good father and a loving grandfather to five grandchildren.

Gerard T. Kelly was all of those things.

He was also a Marine from 1952 to '56 who served in Korea. Anyone who wore the uniform knows that once a Marine, always a Marine.

Kelly, who died at 87 on April 5, was “a stand-up Marine until the end,” said his daughter, Anne Rosenfeld.

Kelly, a Wantagh resident, died of complications from COVID-19, according to his family. His daughter, a Massapequa resident, is district director in the office of Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).

Kelly is also survived by his son, Neil Kelly of Plandome. A widower, he was married for 38 years to the former Maureen Costello.

Kelly was active in the Malverne American Legion, his son said.

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“The Marine Corps was huge to him,” Neil Kelly said. “That was it. Served in Korea. Did aviation plotting when he was over there.”

And what is aviation plotting?

"He’s explained it to me a couple of times,” Neil said. “He would actually be tracking the different planes while he was stationed over in Korea.”

Kelly grew up in the Flatbush section of downtown Brooklyn, where he would occasionally catch the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. He was also a fan of the New York football Giants.

“Memory like a steel trap,” Neil said. “Remembered every stat, every game.”

Kelly went to Brooklyn’s Boys High School before it was called Boys & Girls, Rosenfeld remembered. After leaving the Marine Corps, he got into the banking industry and moved to Malverne in 1969. He didn’t retire until he was 81.

“He was a worker,” Rosenfeld said. “Between work and the family and sports, that was pretty much it. Every holiday was as many family members as possible jammed into whatever house, whoever was hosting, with the in-laws and all the cousins. Craziness.”

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