William Charles Kelly Sr. of Riverhead died June 5, 2023, at Peconic Bay Medical Center. He was 70 years old.
Born on February 23, 1953, in Queens, to Timothy and Mary (Keogh) Kelly.
Bill was a very hard worker. He worked at Grumman until its closure and then at Riverhead Building Supply before retiring in February of 2020. He shortly went back to work driving a tractor trailer truck to keep himself busy and do something he always loved.
Bill joined the Eagle Hose Company #4 of Riverhead Fire Department in March of 1977 along with joining the Department’s Ironmen Racing Team. He went through the ranks of Chief of the RFD from 1988-95. He served on the Board of Fire Commissioners from 2001- until the present day. He belonged to many firematic organizations within the RFD, Riverhead Town, Brookhaven Town, and Suffolk County, where he held office at times within some of those organizations. He was presented numerous awards throughout the years for his dedication and time. Most recently he was awarded the 2022 Commissioner Of The Year from the Suffolk County Fire District Officers Association.
Bill was loved by many and was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need or was able to easily give step-by-step directions to anyplace you need to go. You knew you were going to always have a good laugh with him especially if he started the conversation with “Have you heard the one about?” or he may have thrown in any of his one-line anecdotes.
He was predeceased by his parents and brother-in-law, Joseph F. Ruthinowski. He is survived by his loving wife Karen of 50 years. He is also survived by his daughter Ann Marie Bennett (James) and his son William Kelly Jr. (Katie Ryan); his siblings, Susan Kelly Ruthinowski, Joanne Kelly Knorr (Ronald), Timothy Kelly, and Mary Jean Kelly; along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visitation will be at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead on Thursday and Friday, June 8 and 9, both days from 4 to 8 p.m. Firematic services will be held Friday at 7 p.m. A funeral service will take place at the funeral home Saturday, June 10 at 10 a.m. A private cremation will follow at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Center Moriches.