Obituary: George Paul Kelley
George Paul Kelley died on June 18, 2018 at the age of 75, following a year-long battle with cancer.
Mr. Kelley was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He attended Duke University and earned a degree in Civil Engineering in 1965. After two tours in Vietnam in the United States Naval Construction Battalions (“Seebees”) as a lieutenant from 1965 to 1967, Mr. Kelley pursued a masters in civil engineering from Purdue University and graduated in 1968. In 1970, he moved to Montclair and raised his three children in this community.
Mr. Kelley was a member of the four-person founding team of Langan Engineering, a civil engineering firm in New Jersey that was started in 1970. Over the ensuing 48 years, he was a key person at the firm who helped grow the company into a large, multinational business with over 1,000 employees. He served as the chairman of the board of directors for 10 years. His commitment to Langan employees is underscored every year with the “George P. Kelley Empowerment Award,” which is given annually to an employee who demonstrates leadership results through empowerment. Some of his notable accomplishments at Langan included the Scoville Brass Factory Redevelopment, numerous projects for New Jersey Economic Development Authority and dozens of projects on K-12 schools throughout the state of New Jersey as well as a variety of projects in New York City.
He was a sailing and boating enthusiast, who loved competitive racing, as well as leisurely cruising. He was an active member of the Ocean City Yacht Club and participated over many years in its racing programs. In his later years, he also enjoyed fishing in Ocean City, especially with his children and grandchildren aboard the “Lucky Irishman.” With his wife Barbara, he enjoyed cruising the Caribbean on the “Silk Pants.”
In addition, Mr. Kelley gave generously of his time to St. James Episcopal Church in Montclair, where over the last several years he used his prowess as a civil engineer to help restore the bell tower that is a central feature of this church. In June 2017, he was awarded the David P. Hegg Lifetime Achievement Award by the Episcopalian Diocese for his work at St. James.
Mr. Kelley is predeceased by his parents Paul and Miriam Kelley, and his sister Nancy Valego. He is survived by his wife Barbara and his children, Shana (Ted), Christian (Jamie), and Susan, his four grandchildren, Conor, Owen, Brynn and George, and by his sister, Emily (Rich) Thomas, brother-in-law Tom Valego, and sister-in-law Betsy (Chip) Mues, and his extended family including eight nieces and nephews.
The family extends sincere thanks to the caring and compassionate staff of Mountainside Hospital and The Center for Hope Hospice & Palliative Care, and to his friends, who reminded him through their words and actions of how truly cherished and admired he was. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date. Services are being handled by Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home in Montclair.