In Memory of



Obituary for Donald Kelly

Kelly, Donald Bruce Stephen

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our father, Donald Bruce Stephen Kelly at the age of 85.

Don was born in Collingwood at the tail end of the depression as the oldest of 6 children to Alice and Arnold Kelly. He was predeceased by the love of his life Betty in 2021 and is survived by his 4 children, Alison (Pete), Martha (John), Stephen (Elizabeth) and Sean. He was the proud Pa of Darcy, Sebastian, Regan, and Matthew.

Don spent time in the navy and then worked on ships around the world. He obtained his first mate certificate and was in high demand working for Royal Dutch Shell, running oil tankers up through the Panama Canal and also on a research vessel for Columbia University off the coast of South Africa. He was still sailing into his 80’s on a personal boat out of the Collingwood harbour.

After being on the seas for many years, Don went to the University of Toronto and obtained his B.Sc. in his late 20’s. After he married, he started a long career in the insurance and financial industry. Starting with London Life in Peterborough, Whitby and Lindsay, and finally coming back home to Collingwood in the early 1980’s. He transitioned to Co-operators Insurance Company in 1995 to finish out his career. His friends became clients, and his clients became friends.

Don spent many federal elections as the Returning Officer for the Simcoe Grey riding. Don spent time with the Rotary and Optimist Clubs, a past board member of e3 Community Services, part of the Collingwood Food Grains Bank initiative, involved in Trinity United Church here in Collingwood, among so many other initiatives. Don was recognized for all his volunteer efforts being award the Order of Collingwood. He was one of the kindest and caring people to anyone who he met. The word “No” was seldom in his vocabulary, always willing to help.

Don was a voracious learner. A library of books was ever present in the family home and very seldom fiction. Subjects varied like an eclectic playlist on an iPhone. Books on yoga, finance, philosophy, gardening, history and for some reason, countless dictionaries line the bookshelves. Heck, he self-taught himself through reading and took up bee keeping in his late 70’s because he wanted to do his part to save the bees. Surprisingly, he wasn’t stung, that often!

He was an early adopter of technology and would’ve had one of the first personal computers in the area. His current selections of iPads, laptops, printers, iPhone’s, etc. would be the envy of any 15 yr. old kid.

Don loved nature and being outdoors. Starting as a kid along the Pretty River and down at the harbour. Hiking, running, and walking around the area were a common occurrence over the last 40 yrs. At times looking after sections of the Bruce Trail, canoeing in Algonquin Park with his old friend T. Gerald or on various whitewater rivers in northern Ontario with the Sneyd brothers. Solo camping, much to Betty’s chagrin, into his mid 70’s, Don enjoyed being outside!

Although we are saddened that he is gone, we know he is up in the sky with mom. No doubt sitting in a restaurant, mom ordering fish and chips and dad ordering a Greek salad with dressing on the side (he never used the dressing but thought he would look weird without at least ordering it).

As per Don’s wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.