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Patrick James Kelly



Born Patrick James Kelly on April 9th, 1931, our Dad was destined to create beautiful things.

At his first job in Chapples store, while working in the window covering department, he met his lifelong sweetheart Rosemary (aka Marka) where she was employed in draperies. After his work at Chapples, he trained for upholsterer and riveter at CanCar before moving on to his most meaningful career path.

Patrick transitioned into the Fort William Police Department, where he shook doors in downtown businesses, sometimes in minus 40 degree weather, protecting local vendors in the downtown core and made meaningful connections with community members all over town. He then moved into the Traffic Department, where he remained until his retirement from the Thunder Bay Police. Some career highlights include leading parades, and chauffeuring Bob Hope in a police escort during a visit to Thunder Bay.

Patrick was skilled at everything he did, but it was his homage to his beloved brother (Father Jerry), a Scarborough Foreign missionary stationed in Japan, that stands out the most. His deep passion for Japanese gardening was evident in every aspect of his meticulously tended garden, a sanctuary he lovingly created and nurtured that still exists to this day. Self-taught, he built large Japanese lanterns and a curved concrete bridge spanning his meandering pond. Large ferns, juniper bushes, and trees hug the tall, burbling waterfall. Patrick and Rosemary generously opened their garden to many Thunder Bay residents. They welcomed several wedding parties for stunning photo shoots, hosted beautiful garden parties, and invited fellow garden enthusiasts to tour their grounds through Thunder Bay Garden Tours. They were also proud to be featured in the 1994 Annual Canadian Gardens coffee table book.

He rarely missed taking in a sunset, loved to travel, especially to Vienna, played the piano beautifully, and could name any airplane that crossed the flight path above their home. He was an avid speckled trout fisherman, and enthusiastic cyclist, logging thousands of kilometers through his daily rides through the city. He loved his family, his home, and his life. He had the wonderful ability to make everything he touched exceptional.

Patrick was predeceased by his wife Rosemary and five siblings, most recently younger brother Larry and is survived by his four children, Rosemary (Bruce), Patrick (Sharon), Jerry (Sharon) and Elizabeth (Pat), ten grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews, brother-in-law Walter, sisters-in-law Violet, Gay and Mary (Duncan, BC).

Patrick's family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation for the care and support from the 6 North staff at Hogarth Riverview Manor and Larry Dicks who volunteered his time to visit with our Dad. We always felt he was in excellent hands.

The funeral will be held on Friday, March 1st at St. Peter's Church at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Saint Peter’s Catholic Church to honour Patrick. 

Online condolences may be sent to

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