John Kelly was an active member of the Tarrytown Fire Department for 30+ years‚ serving with Fire Boat 5 and Conqueror Hook & Ladder. He served with Sleepy Hollow Ambulance Corp. for 20+ years. He worked with Town of Greenburgh Civil Defense and was an honorary member of Croton Fire Patrol for 20 years. During his time in the volunteer fire service‚ he received awards including Responder of the Year‚ Life Saves‚ Most Dedicated‚ and the Medal of Honor‚ awarded posthumously.
John’s biggest interest was in lights and fire radios. There was no such thing as too many; there was always room for one more light on his truck. People used to joke that he could land an airplane with all the lights he had on his truck.
John’s family included his daughter‚ Brianna; his stepson‚ Dan; grandsons‚ Liam and Corbin; sisters‚ Maureen and Michelle; brothers-in-law‚ Robert and John; and several nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his father‚ Richard; his mother‚ Odette; and his brother‚ Richard.
If everyone in their lifetime had the chance to meet a man like John‚ they should consider themselves very lucky. John was the type of man who would always help someone in need‚ be it moving‚ a cable wire run‚ having a tree cut up‚ or helping when their car broke down. It didn’t matter if you were family‚ a friend‚ or a complete stranger‚ John would be there to help. No job was too big for him to handle‚ and he had every tool known to mankind to handle these jobs‚ sometimes two or three of them.
John loved the holidays; he was the biggest kid on Halloween‚ wanting as much candy as he could get and towing a trailer for the senior home during the parade. Come Christmastime‚ he was well known for putting a fully decorated tree in the bed of his pickup truck and driving around. Often he would dress up as Santa Claus and stand outside stores and gas stations waving to people. One Christmas‚ a man came up to John‚ who had been selling Christmas trees at one of the firehouses as a fundraiser. The man asked if they had any trees left‚ as his mother was coming home from the hospital the next day and he had not gotten one for her. Unfortunately‚ they had sold the last one‚ so John gave him his decorated tree from his pickup truck-lights‚ stand‚ and all.
That was John-a hero 365 days a year‚ 24 hours a day.