Dale J. Kelly Jr.


IRAQ – SSGT Dale J. Kelly, Jr., 48, of Richmond, heroically lost his life in battle in Iraq on May 6, after his convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device. Dale has gone to sit at the feet of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

He was born to Barbara (Fitzpatrick) and Private Dale Kelly on Nov. 30, 1957, in Stuttgart, Germany, where his father was serving during the Cold War. Shortly after graduating from Cranston High School, he joined the Rhode Island Air National Guard 143 Tactical Airlift Group as a loadmaster.

While serving the first nine years of his military career, he met and married his soulmate, Nancy Cabral, also a member of the 143rd Tactical Airlift Group. They were married on Dec. 20, 1980, at the Church of the Transfiguration in Cranston, R.I. They renewed their vows and everlasting love at their 25th wedding anniversary on Dec. 17, 2005, shortly before his deployment to Iraq.

Dale, a faithful and loving husband, devoted father, brother, son and nephew, spiritual leader and leader of men, will be remembered most for his uncanny ability to use humor as a tool through all difficult situations and his willingness to rise to any occasion God placed before him. He navigated his way through life’s hardships, burying a son, a father, two grandfathers and two grandmothers, as well as all of the day-to-day hardships of living a humble middle-class life. He lived life one day at a time and would always start his morning with a prayer that God would direct his thoughts and actions.

Every life he touched, from the Scouting world, to the work environment at BIW, to his church, St. Paul’s in Brunswick, to the recovery community, to the soldiers he served with in two states and two branches of the armed forces and to his family, friends and neighbors, all were enriched by his presence. This is a loss to many but a reminder to all, to hold dear to us what is important, to live our lives as sober, believing, obedient men and women and to ascend to victory in all situations to the glory of a power much greater than us.

Dale is survived by his wife of 25 years, Nancy L. Kelly of Richmond; three children, Julie Trainor and her husband, Will, of Norridgewock, Christopher Kelly of Hallowell and Jennifer Huppe and her husband, Michel, of Brewer; three grandchildren, Alexis Trainor of Yarmouth and Emileigh and Elizabeth Trainor of Norridgewock; his siblings, Kathleen Kelly Sullivan, her husband, John E. “Jay” and their son, Jack, of Narragansett, R.I., David H. Kelly, his wife, Trisha and their son, Dawson, of Warwick, R.I., Barbara Wheaton, her husband, J. Timothy and their children, Matthew, Lindsay and Bennett of Yarmouth, Joseph Kelly, his companion, Dawn Altman and his children, Brittany and Cameron, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Kristen Kelly Ciambrone, her husband, William and their sons, William and Jason, of Ashland, Mass.; his mother, Barbara Kelly of Cranston, R.I.; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; and all of his family of friends of Bill W.

He is predeceased by his son, Michael John Kelly; his father, Dale J. Kelly Sr., and survived by his father’s wife, Jan Kelly of Cranston, R.I.; by grandparents, James H. and Florence Kelly and Hugh W. and Barbara Fitzpatrick.