Union City - James Emmett Kelly, 72, died September 11, 2019 of natural causes, after an extended period of poor health, at Washington Hospital in Fremont, California. He was born on February 2, 1947 in South Bend, Indiana, the son of Cyril James and Ruth Marietta (Ehredt) Kelly. He went by the name of Jim in everyday life.
Jim graduated from Bellarmine High School, class of 1965, and subsequently graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in electrical engineering. He served in the Army reserves, achieving the rank of drill sergeant. Jim married Cathie Ann Coleman, originally from Woodstock, Illinois and who attended St. Mary’s College across the street from Notre Dame, in 1969, and they settled in California. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in June 2019. Jim worked for most of his professional career at US Pipe and Foundry Company in Union City, CA, achieving the position of plant manager, responsible for the entire operation of the California plant with more than 150 employees.
Among Jim’s many enjoyments in life, a few of the ones that stood out were spending time with his large family on a constant basis; fishing throughout California, but especially in Niles Canyon, before they closed it, and in the Sierra Nevada mountains; gardening and maintaining his home in a way better than most could hope for; playing cards often, including bridge, euchre, and poker; watching Notre Dame football; smoking, which he regrettably was forced to give up in his forties after heart surgery, but which extended his life another 25 plus years; and drinking the very occasional beer - he only rarely went past a six pack each day. Later in his life, he also enjoyed complaining about his health, but that is understandable, given his circumstances. He will be missed.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Danny, a son, Brian, and a brother in-law Shawn. Surviving in addition to his wife, Cathie, are his son, Michael and his wife Karen, of Union City, daughters, Meg Fuentes of Union City, Mary Katherine Rodriguez and her husband Victor of Union City, Colleen Mann and her husband John of Florida; eleven grandchildren, Jason, Kathryn and Allison Kelly, Madeline and Lyla Fuentes, Julian, Claire, Ethan and Sarah Rodriguez, and Ava and Jack Mann, with another Mann grandchild on the way in early 2020; three sisters, Ann Kelly, Mary Kate Costa and her husband Mike, and Nancy Morris; a brother, Tim Kelly, and sister-in-law, Lucy Kelly; a sister -in -law, Carole Coleman and her husband Glenn, eleven nieces and nephews along with their numerous children representing many more grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
A visitation will be held September 15, 2019 at Berge-Pappas-Smith Mortuary, 40842 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538 at 3 o'clock. The following day, there will be a mass at Saint Joseph's Church, at 11:00 o’clock, followed thereafter by burial at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery located at 26320 Mission Blvd, Hayward, CA, followed thereafter by a gathering of friends at Jim and Cathie's home. All are welcome
In lieu of flowers, the Kelly family requests that donations be made to the Brian Kelly Fund with New Haven Schools Foundation. Brian Kelly, the son of Jim and Cathie, attended James Logan High School and later passed away at a very young age. This fund was created by the Kelly family to honor his memory, and we know Jim would appreciate the gesture. The Brian Kelly Fund is a unique program that initially focused exclusively on supporting tutoring for high school students. Now, the focus has expanded to include literacy programs, starting at the elementary school level. Jim was famous for saying, "If you can read, you can do anything." The New Haven Schools Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID 94-2855611.