Walter F. Kelley, 78: Successful salesman, gardener and storyteller

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YARMOUTH — Walter Francis Kelley, 78, of Yarmouth died of complications of ALS Oct. 17 at Mercy Hospital in Portland.

He was born in Brookline, Mass., on June 16, 1935, the son of Ethel and John Kelley. He graduated from Brookline High School, class of 1953. He went on to obtain a bachelor’s from the University of Massachusetts.

Kelley’s career was all about salesmanship, first as a manufacturer’s rep for Ray-O-Vac and then founding his own company, Kelley Sales. His easy smile, a wealth of knowledge from being an avid reader and a genuine love of others made him a natural and a success. He was also a gifted storyteller.

Kelley had a lifelong interest in gardening and landscaping and was profiled in a local paper and television program for his talent. His love of nature and the outdoors gave him an abiding love of animals, especially birds.

His family was the renewing source of his life and he will be remembered as a kind, generous and noble man. Despite the growing challenges of ALS he was articulate in how he cared for others and was able to gently inspire others with his wisdom.

He was predeceased by his brother, John Kelley and his sister, Barbara Saltamacchia.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Winifred Kelley; two children, Laura Kelley Dodds, and husband, Cary, and Bradford Kelley, and wife, Sherie; four grandchildren, Jason, Bryan, Shawn and Kaitlynn; and great-grandson Austin.

It was his request that there be no services. 

For those who wish, donations may be made in his memory to The ALS Association, 1275 K St. NW, Suite 250, Washington, D.C. 20005.

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