Mike Kelly was born and brought up on Providence’s East Side. He attended Holy Name School and LaSalle Academy, graduating in the Class of 1960. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Air Wing Division as an avionics technician; he married his high school sweetheart, started a family and after three years returned to Providence. He graduated from New England Institute of Anatomy in Boston, obtaining his Embalmers and Funeral Director License while working the night shift at Davol Rubber.
Mike was working in the family business, John Kelly Funeral Home on Hope Street, when he was approached to run for City Council Ward 3. He accepted the challenge and won the seat which he held for eight years. Mike’s interest in mechanics never wavered and when the opportunity presented itself he took over the Sunoco Station on Hope Street and left the family business. He was never one to shy away from hard work, working seven days a week to provide for his growing family.
Opportunity knocked again and Mike was able to obtain property on Charles Street and a bigger “Sunoco” was built. The following year the Providence Marriott became a neighbor. The building and the business have grown; the building being added to mostly by Mike himself and it now houses a repair facility, oil change center, convenience store, tunnel wash and multiple self-serve bays.
Among many community endeavors and recognitions, Mike has been inducted into the LaSalle Academy Hall of Fame; he is Past President of the Rhode Island Pilots Association, Past President of the Providence Rotary Club and a Director on the Board of Home Loan Bank.
With a love of aeronautics and planes dating back to his enlisted years, Mike holds a Private Pilot’s License with Instrument and Commercial Ratings. Mike and his wife Kathy are parishioners of St. Joseph Church in Cumberland. They are the proud parents of six children and sixteen grandchildren. Their greatest enjoyment is time spent among their family and friends.
Mike is extremely proud of his Irish heritage and was honored to accept the invitation to serve as Grand Marshal for the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.