Paul Kelley

Paul Kelley, 89, of New Paltz, NY, passed away on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, at Woodland Pond in New Paltz.  Born July 7, 1930, in Port Byron, NY, he was the son of the late Irvin and May (Morris) Kelley.  Paul married Edythe Oteri on December 26, 1958, at Winter Park, Colorado. They spent 44 years together before her death on December 6, 2002.

Paul proudly served his country in the Army during the Korean War. He was awarded various medals including Sharp Shooter, Korean Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, National Defense Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.

Paul earned two Master’s Degrees in both Education and Geology. He was a Technology and Industrial Arts teacher at New Paltz Middle School in New Paltz, NY. He retired in 1992.

Paul and his wife Edythe had a wonderful partnership. An energetic person, Paul couldn’t sit still for a moment; however, Edythe had an incredible calming effect on him. Edythe and Paul enjoyed renovating their stone house, raising their children, and many wonderful vacations. After Paul retired from teaching, he and Edythe opened a successful bed and breakfast where they shared their warm and welcoming home with a myriad of interesting guests for over 10 years.

Paul was an infinitely curious person, an extraordinary athlete, and a tremendous lover of the outdoors. His father, Irvin, was a farmer and minister, so Paul spent his early life moving around Tennessee and upstate New York.  However, his heart was always in upstate New York, as he adored the fresh air and wide-open spaces.  In exploring other places, he bicycled all over Europe, including the Austrian and Bavarian Alps, Ireland, Germany and England. He would be disappointed in himself if he failed to log in 100 miles a day on his bike and was occasionally known to have done 200. He was an avid mountain climber and a “46er,” having scaled the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks, as well as Mt. Fuji in Japan and Gannett Peak in Wyoming. At home, he swam in his pond every morning until he couldn’t break the ice with his forearms. He was then forced to put his swims on hold till the spring thaw, so he turned to daily sledding.

Paul was a multiple medium artist, sketching, painting, and working with wood to make furniture and carvings. He was also an excellent mason, making beautiful fireplaces from stone. A lover of music, his favorites included classical as well as folk.

Paul was also a political activist and felt very passionate about his beloved Hudson River. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations in Paul’s name be made to Clearwater Hudson River Revival, Anne Todd Osborn, Clearwater Board President.

Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Edythe; his twin brother, Peter; and his older siblings Robert, Louise, and Lovina.

Survivors include his children, Steven LeConte Kelley and his wife, Debra of Clintondale, NY; Ellen Kelley Scalzi and her husband Christopher of Rensselaer, NY; and Laurel Lei Kelley and her husband David Johnson of West Sand Lake, NY; his brother, Porter Kelley of Tacoma, WA; his grandchildren, Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer and her husband David Kelley-Widmer of Ithaca, NY; Travis Paul Kelley and his husband Paulo Murta of Boston, MA; Alexander Scalzi of Troy, NY; Elgin Scalzi of Rensselaer, NY; Liam Blake Johnson of West Sand Lake, NY; and Ava Kelley Johnson of West Sand Lake, NY; and his great grandchildren, Wendell Kelley-Widmer and Conrad Kelley-Widmer of Ithaca, NY.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 1-3 p.m. at Copeland Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY. This will be followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m.

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