Dr. Michael J. Kelly, MD, of Eagle Point, was born Jan. 1, 1932, in Hillsboro, N.D., and passed away May 9, 2010 in Medford.
Dr. Kelly graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.S. degree and from Northwestern University Medical School with an M.D. degree.
Dr. Kelly began his distinguished VA career as a staff physician at the VAMC in Fargo N.D., where he became Chief of Staff. He was a professor of medicine at the University of Dakota, School of Medicine and a professor of pharmacy at North Dakota State University. In 1981, he transferred to the VAMC in Salisbury, N.C. where he served as Chief of Staff until 1987, when he transferred to the VA facility in White City.
While Chief of Staff at the SORCC (VA Domiciliary), Dr. Kelly created an innovative culinary arts program. He secured funding for and greatly expanded the alcohol treatment program as well as the homeless program. Foreseeing the benefits of computer technology, he championed the development of electronic medical records at White City and throughout the VA system. His focus was to provide the most effective delivery of services to the veteran in need.
Dr. Kelly received many prestigious awards for his accomplishments, but what probably tickled him most was the “KELLY AVE.” street sign he received after having a street named after him at the SORCC upon his retirement in June of 2000.
Michael, or Mike, as he was affectionately known to his friends, began doing service work with Alcoholics Anonymous in the Rogue Valley upon his arrival here in 1987. Carrying the message to the still suffering alcoholics led him to be heavily involved with Jackson County AA Central Office, Oregon AA District 16, the local AA Answering Service and several local AA groups. Probably closest to his heart was the extensive one-on-one support he gave to those in need, both face-to-face and at all hours on the telephone. Knowledgeable, kind, steadfast and unassuming, Mike’s presence was and will continue to be an inspiration for this community to serve with love.
He is survived by his three sons, Patrick, David and Shaun Kelly, as well as his nephew, Michael Kelly. He was preceded in death by his two sisters; a brother; and his parents, Clarence D. and Estelle M. Kelly.
A memorial service will be held at 12 p.m. Thursday, May 27 at the SORCC (VA Domiciliary) Theatre in White City. Chaplain Wayne Bell will officiate. A private internment will follow at Eagle Point National Cemetery.