Alan Eugene Kelly
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Feb. 4, 1948 – Jan. 11, 2020
After struggling for several years with multiple system atrophy (MSA), a rare and nasty neurodegenerative illness, Alan Kelly passed away on January 11, 2020, surrounded by family.
Alan was born in Boston, Mass., to Flater Earl Kelly and Marilynn Wood (Johnson) Kelly on Feb. 4, 1948. He attended Hanover High School in Hanover, Mass. After graduating in 1966, he came to Boulder to attend CU and never left.
He married Mary Martha (Mimi) Hay in 1970 and had two daughters, Alexis and Megan. Alan and Mimi divorced in 1976, and Alan was a single dad until his girls were teenagers.
He married Joanne Tubbs Wetmore-Fish in 1997. The two embarked on many adventures together, including opening a restaurant (Mama’s Chicken Soup); remodeling two homes; hiking to Machu Picchu; and exploring the mountains of Colorado, the vineyards of Tuscany, the sights of Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Alaska, and the beaches of Belize and Mexico.
Alan worked in the plastics industry for many years, then in his 50s went into business for himself as a handyman/remodeler. He delighted in helping people with home maintenance and repair, and his work earned him many loyal customers, many of whom became friends.
In his younger years, Alan was one of the hottest country-western dancers at the Olympic Dance Hall and Saloon. He loved scuba diving, skiing, cooking, dark chocolate and fine wine. He was a member of Columbine Unity Church from the second Sunday the church opened its doors 26 years ago. He served on the Columbine board and was a key member of its building committee when the church built its current facility. For several years, he also taught Uniteens, a spiritual exploration class for kids in grades 6 through 8. Alan served on the board of NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Boulder County for six years and was president for two years.
He was a kind, generous man who loved making friends and derived great joy from making people laugh. He was known for his quick wit and the mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Alan is survived by his wife, Joanne, his daughters Alexis Hamilton and Megan Brugger (Will), his stepchildren Sarah Dufoe (Candace) and Joshua Wetmore, and six grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Chris Kelly (Pat) of Kihei, Hawaii, and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents and his brother Paul Kelly.
A Celebration of Life will be held February 8, 2020, at 1:00 at Columbine Unity Church, 8900 Arapahoe Rd., Boulder.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition (www.multiplesystematrophy.org/) or to Columbine Unity (columbineunity.org).
Alan donated his brain to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, where researchers are striving to unravel the mysteries of MSA, an illness with no known cause and no cure.
Alan’s family is grateful for all the kindness and support offered by friends, neighbors and the Columbine community throughout Alan’s illness, as well as for the loving care offered by staff at Interim Healthcare, Dignity Care, Trail Winds Hospice, and Balfour Skilled Nursing.