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John

John J. Kelley

d. September 2, 2014

John J. Kelley Sr. on Sept. 2, 2014. Of Whitemarsh, formerly of Flourtown. Beloved husband of the late Rita (nee Ciliberti) for 59 years. Loving father of John (Christine), Rita Schmidt (Robert), Kevin (Robin), Paul, and Karen (Greg Davis). Grandpop of Kelley, Brian, Lisa, Robert Jr, Colleen, Julianne, and Kevin,Jr., Great grandpop of Bobby. Brother of Thomas, Grace Morris, and the late Vincent. John Kelley was born November 26, 1930, the son of Vince and Grace, an Irish postman and German homemaker. John grew up in a row home in a modest working class neighborhood of Philadelphia, and attended North Catholic High School, where he was an excellent student, a very good football player, and ran for the track team. John served as an altar boy for his parish church. After high school, John began his working career working for Plummer and Kershaw, a Philadelphia company, polishing gun sight lenses for military use. John also worked for a time for the Otis Elevator Company. John’s ocularist career began with Mager & Gougelman, Inc. in 1949. He quickly took to his profession, working first under Eric Winter and also with Robert Thomas and Francis Connelly. In a fairly short time, John became the Philadelphia branch manager for Mager & Gougelman. In 1962, John left Mager & Gougelman to begin a partnership with Francis Connelly, which lasted until 1967 when John started his own practice. In 1966, John received a Bachelor of Science Degree from LaSalle University after attending eight years of night school, all while raising five children and conducting his ocularist practice. In 1974, John was asked to become the first Education Chairperson of the American Society of Ocularists (ASO). He shepherd the education process of the ASO in its beginning years and helped it become what it is today, the most recognized organization for training ocularists. John was also the driving force behind the formation of the National Examining Board of Ocularists (NEBO) in 1978 and its first chairperson. He, with others, developed the first certification exam for ocularists. This certification is now the recognized national standard. John was a contributing author to numerous books and journals. He was the lead author of the Dictionary of Terms for Ocularists. John’s talents and skills led to him being sought out by ophthalmologists to help develop new surgical devices and implants, many of which are still in use. He is a past President of the American Society of Ocularists, and also a Fellow and Honorary member of the ASO. In 1977, John presented the Ruedemann Lecture to the ASO/AAO Joint Session. He was the first Lee Allen Award winner, the most prestigious award presented by the ASO. No single person has been more instrumental in improving the education and standards of the ocularist profession. John worked his entire career in Philadelphia where his talents and dedication earned him the respect of such legends as Dr. Edmund Spaeth and Dr. Harold Scheie. It is estimated that John cared for more than 8,000 patients over his long career. His skillful, kind and caring treatment of every person was always evident. He was respected and loved by all. John established the practice of John J. Kelley Assoc. in 1967 and practiced as a Board Certified Ocularist in Phila. for over 55 years. John served both as the Charter Chairperson of the Nation Examining Board and President of the American Society of Ocularists. Relatives and friends are invited to call Saturday at 9AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10AM at St. Genevieve Church, 1225 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, PA 19031. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the above named church or The American Parkinson Disease Ass’n Inc., 135 Parkinson Ave., Staten Island, NY 10305.
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