Alan R. Kelly
Nov. 2, 1955 -Sept. 12, 2015
Alan Robert Kelly, 59, died Sept. 12, 2015, at Providence Anchorage Medical Center of a massive stroke.
“Known both as Alan and Kelly, he was a people person who made friends easily and kept them for life,” his family said.
A gathering was held to celebrate his life prior to spreading his ashes on the waters of the Anchor River, one of his favorite fishing spots.
He was born Nov. 2, 1955, in Cooperstown, N.Y., the fourth and youngest child of Robert Lloyd Kelly and Lesley Dickman Kelly. He was a precocious child at a tender age, much to the chagrin of his parents. At age 3, Alan was helped with his skates, grabbed a hockey stick and began what turned into a lifelong love of the game of hockey. He grew up in a family who enjoyed camping, canoeing, fishing and nature in general, and soon learned to fish.
In 1959 the family moved to Swarthmore, Pa., where he received his elementary and high school education. He participated in baseball and, at age 9, joined a fledgling youth hockey league just as organized teams were forming in the Philadelphia area. Hockey became a major passion for him both as a player, loyal fan and later as a coach.
Upon his graduation from high school in 1974 he worked in the Philadelphia area, trying various jobs, one of which was driving a fish delivery truck in the Delaware Valley area.
He then moved to Burlington, Vt., where he continued his pursuit of hockey. He attended classes at the University of Vermont and worked as the local dog catcher, even living with his canine friends for a period of time in a room at the kennel. While there his affinity for and great love of dogs deepened.
In 1981, Alan moved to Homer after living and working in California for a short while.
In Homer, Alan found a community filled with friends, hockey, fishing and dogs. His first job was at Land’s End as a bartender, where he quickly bonded with those around him, connecting with longtime Homer residents or those just arriving in town. He was loyal and persistent in friendship, maintaining contacts while gathering more people into his kind hearted life.
He played softball and joined a hockey league, where he was admired on the ice for his skill, finesse and passion for the game.
Alan worked on the North Slope as well as in the fishing industry on boats, in fish factories as a crane operator and as a buyer. In 2000 Alan flew to California, returning with a refrigerated box truck with which he started his own business, Homer Halibut Express. He continued to fly fish and could boast of having caught the biggest fish of anyone in the family.
He also loved and cared for numerous dogs over the years, becoming known as a dog whisperer. He willingly took care of other’s dogs while they were away, calling his family back east to tell them of the antics of his canine companions.
“He will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and nonjudgmental attitude of people, and helping others in both large and small ways. He lived fully with happiness, and was much loved by his family and enormous network of friends. He will be deeply missed,” his family said. “For those friends living in various parts of the country, he can be remembered by taking the time to reach out and contact each other. He left us way too soon.”
Friends wishing to do so may honor Alan’s life by donating to Homer Animal Friends, Box 2300, Homer, AK 99603 and designating the check for animal care at the Homer Animal Shelter.
Alan was preceded in death by his mother, Lesley Dickman Kelly.
He is survived by his father, Robert Lloyd Kelly; brother, Steven D. Kelly of Bozeman, Mont.; sisters, Conny A. Kelly and husband Kenneth Seiders of South Bristol, Maine, and Margery F. Kelly of Damariscotta, Maine; niece Eva Kate Seiders of San Diego, Calif.; and nephews Kyle D. Seiders of Kingfield, Maine, and Steven Alan Severance of Waltham, Mass.