Cover photo for Con J. Kelly Jr.'s Obituary
Con J. Kelly Jr. Profile Photo
1932 Con 2022

Con J. Kelly Jr.

May 14, 1932 — May 15, 2022

On May 15, 2022, Con Kelly returned to the Lord the life that had been leased to him on May 14, 1932. Death came at the end of an extended battle with cancer and at the end of an interesting life-long journey. Son of Con J. and Catherine (Carroll) Kelly, he was raised in Butte, attended St. Patrick's Grade School, and graduated from Butte Central High School in 1950. An excellent student and athlete, Con was a member of the 1950 State Class A Football champions, the State Big 16 basketball champions, and the State American Legion baseball champions.

His life journey took him from Butte to the University of Santa Clara on a football scholarship, to Denver and Dubuque to prepare for ordination to the priesthood, to Helena where he was on the faculty of Carroll College, and to Quebec City where he earned a doctorate in philosophy at Laval University. He returned to Carroll College as professor and Dean of Students where life-long friendships with students were developed, and then journeyed to Bozeman as pastor of Resurrection parish and to Montana State University as adjunct faculty in the Department of History and Philosophy. He pursued a D. Min. degree from Princeton University and upon leaving ministry, Con came to Missoula and the School of Law where he was awarded a law degree and admission to the State Bar Association.

Employment opportunity brought him to Portland, Oregon where he was reacquainted with Dollie Santini McGreevey whom he had known in high school. They married in 1986 melding his Irish roots with Dollie's Italian ones. Warmly welcomed by Dollie's children, the soulmates would soon be back on a journey to Cincinnati, Ohio where for fifteen years he served as Health Care Ethicist for a national health care system headquartered in Cincinnati and Denver. Matching the couple's mutual interest in learning was their love of athletics and sports—tennis, golf, and when Con's skis were judged too old and too long, cycling--a sport that would take them on national and international cycling tours for the next 20 years.
Retirement and relocation brought them back to Portland to be closer to family. Six years of fighting Portland traffic and aligned issues made them responsive to the assurance that you can go home again. A move back to Montana and Missoula came in 2006.

Missoula would offer all that Con was looking for: volunteer efforts with Meals on Wheels, the Missoula Food Bank, and the MOLLI program at the University. It also offered a wealth of good friends and neighbors, the Mansfield Book Club and his beloved spirituality group. Con would ever insist that thanks to his family, his teachers, mentors, coaches and teammates, colleagues, and friends that he had met along the way, he was one of the luckiest people ever to have lived. Nor did he ever lose his competitive drive. Close to his 90th birthday, he was spotted at the Canyon River Golf Course working on a recalcitrant swing that he said left him standing too close to the ball after he hit it. His was a well-travelled life well lived.
Con was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Mary C. Dawson and Pat Guy. He is survived by his wife Dollie, his brother John (Marion) of Frederick, MD, brother-in-law Ron Guy of Rapid City, SD, and Dollie's children whom he considered his own: Laurie Johnson of Portland, Ore; Dr. Ed McGreevey (Brenda) of Missoula; Leslie Murphy (Tom) of Great Falls, and Greg McGreevey (Tracey) of Denver, CO; 10 grandchildren, 11 greatgrandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at Christ the King Parish in Missoula on July 9th. If you would like to honor Con's memory, please consider a donation to Missoula Food Bank or to a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Con J. Kelly Jr., please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, July 9, 2022

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