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 John “Sean O. Ceallaig” Kelly

John “Sean O. Ceallaig” Kelly

Brittas, County Limerick, Ireland
Death 13 Nov 2012 (aged 83)
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 101248979 · View Source
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John Kelly

Sean O. Ceallaig, known to us in America as John Kelly, was born at No. 7 Bridge, Brittas, Loughmore, Ireland, on Oct. 6, 1929, to James and Mary Kelly. His incredible life journey sadly ended on Nov. 13, 2012.

John's experiences may be best summarized by a song written about him the year he received the highly coveted Knocknagow Award, which is similar to being inducted into our Hall of Fame. Originally penned by Irish countryman Tim Joe McGrath to the tune of "Chapel Bells" and sung first by 9-year-old Margaret Ann Geehan, the following words tell his story:

Near a village in Tipperary stands a castle all forlorn

There one October morning John Kelly he was born

His parents took him to the chapel at the font there by the door

The priest blessed the little fellow, welcome John to famed Loughmore.

And the chapel bells were ringing like the birds on every bough

Joyous notes of exclamation wondrous words of expectation

Greet the son of Kocknagow.

He ran to school each morning despite weather cold or fine

Setting seed for future travels barefoot by the railway line

Those youthful years passed quickly long summers thro' to fall

John lived and loved the beauty round the hills of Killenaule.

Where the cuckoo call is ringing, thro' valley vale and glen

Wakening flowers of God's creation nature's time for celebration

Thank the Lord our God for spring.

Twenty summers swiftly passed, John left his native shore

Thro' London to Australia he little knew what lay in store

The "Golden Gloves" at twenty-four the master in the ring

London Mexico and Colombia his praises all would sing

The greatest race awaited in distant Ohio

And he won the race that mattered, when Kati said, "I do."

And the wedding bells were ringing to the heavens up above

Time for joy and celebration happiest pair in God's creation

Lit their eternal torch of love.

To night Tipp'rary has gathered to place your famous name

With "immortals" gone before you listed in this "hall of fame."

We salute Tipp'rary's champion, all honours in your store

God bless you "Tipp'rary" for this son from famed Loughmore.

So this song we are singing raise our voices loud and now

'Tears of joy - congratulations', you have sold Tipperary to the nations

John Kelly the pride of Knocknagow, Knocknagow.

John is survived by his sisters, Bridget (Mrs. Lester) Maine of Gosforth, New Castle Upon Tyne, England; Philomena (Mrs. Mihael) Cullagh of Castleeiney, Templemore, Ireland, and their families; wife Kati of Prescott (who carries dual citizenship in Ireland); and the grand circle of loving Irish cousins, nephews and nieces and their children. We all stand together in love and admiration for this man.

A Celebration of Life service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 at Sacred Heart Church in Prescott, 150 Fleury, followed by a reception and balloon release at Prescott High School track. A similar service will be conducted in New Castle Upon Tyne, England, at the same time as a memorial Mass and burial in Loughmore, Ireland, on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (The burial date is almost to the day of the date of his emigration from Ireland to Australia 64 years ago. He certainly will have come full circle - and the full price of this 19-year-old's freighter ticket was 10 pounds).

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any donation in John's memory be made to Sacred Heart School in Prescott, Heifer International, Rainforest Alliance or to a charity of the giver's choice.

He was a most loving, caring and dedicated person and will be missed by all who knew him.

Hampton Funeral Home assisted with the arrangements.

Information provided by survivors.
Prescott Daily Courier, Nov. 25, 2012


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  • Created by: Calmly Searching
  • Added: 25 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 101248979
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John “Sean O. Ceallaig” Kelly (6 Oct 1929–13 Nov 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 101248979, ; Maintained by Calmly Searching (contributor 47240541) Unknown.