Dennis Richard Kelly


    Dennis Richard Kelly, 74, of Shark River Hills, passed away peacefully surrounded by his children at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

    Born and raised in Jersey City, Dennis had an impressive career in the Jersey City Fire Department. Rising to the rank of Captain, Denis ultimately retired as Chief Fiscal Officer. He was named Jersey City Fire Officer of the Year in 1994 and received recognition for his work at Ground Zero on 9/11 and the days following. In 2007, he was honored with the Rev. James V. Pagnotta Humanitarian Leadership Award.

    Dennis was a proud graduate of St. Michael’s High School and attended St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. He also heroically served as a Specialist E5 in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

    While his love for his Jersey City roots never wavered, he was also a beloved member of the Shore community, raising his family in Shark River Hills. He was a
    valued member of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore and a dedicated parishioner of St. Rose RC Church in Belmar.

    But it is Dennis’s kind, gentle spirit and selflessness for which he will be most remembered. A very gifted handyman, he never hesitated to help anyone with their projects nor did he ask for anything in return. He was a lifelong die-hard New York Giants fan who enjoyed summer afternoons at Monmouth Park and extended winter trips to Florida visiting family. However, what brought him the most joy in recent years was his grandson Neil Dennis—especially summer afternoons spent on the back deck watching the Yankees.

    He is predeceased by his wife Mary Hoagland Kelly, his parents Raymond and Catherine Feury Kelly, and his brother Brian Kelly. He is survived by his daughter Kathleen Kelly an her devoted partner Neil Hayes Jr. of Wall Township, his son Matthew Kelly of Asbury Park, his brother James and Vicky Kelly of Alpena, Michigan, his two sisters Sharon and Bob Bandel of Fort Myers, Florida and Patrice and Joe Williams of Bricktown, his loving grandson Neil Dennis Hayes and his dear friend Rose Jakimowicz.

    A funeral mass was celebrated on Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. at St. Rose RC Church, Belmar. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Special Forces Warrior Foundation, [], would be greatly appreciated. For further information or to send condolences to the family please visit