Community Says Goodbye to Westfield Fire Chief Dan Kelly

05f7293f09e0c0178e39_trucks.jpg
Fire trucks outside of St. Helen's Church paid tribute to Chief Dan Kelly Saturday. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
05f7293f09e0c0178e39_trucks.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — Daniel Kelly, Westfield’s fire chief since 2005 and a full-time member of the Westfield Fire Department since 1981, lost his battle against cancer on Tuesday at the age of 54. We asked our readers what they would like to share about Kelly.

You told us that, while the chief was one of those rare people who would run into a burning building to save your family, he was even more than that. He was a well-known, well-respected and much-loved member of our community.

Readers said that Kelly was an active member of St. Helen’s Church, involved with the congregation’s Cornerstone Retreat each year, manning the grill at the annual parish picnic, attending the men’s morning prayer breakfast and volunteering whenever asked.

Sign Up for E-News

He was a member of the Westfield Knights of Columbus. He was the past president of the Union County Fire Chiefs’ Association and FMBA Local #30, as well as a longtime member of the Emerald Society.

“It’s tragic whenever anybody at such a young age passes away, but it’s devastating when it’s someone the caliber of person of that Kelly was,” said Westfield Police Chief David Wayman. “It’s a devastating loss to the fire profession, to the town of Westfield and this community. He was a constant professional and leader and he exemplified the phrase ‘leading by example.’ He would always be there for anyone regardless of the day or time of day. I think that the hardest part for me personally is the untimely loss of a good friend.”

“What I remember most about Chief Kelly is when I first got elected to the town council,” said Mark LoGrippo. “As a newly elected town councilman, Chief Kelly gave me a tour of both fire houses in town. What I remember most is how excited and passionate he was about giving me a tour of the entire department. Also, I will never forget his professional leadership preparing for Hurricane Sandy.”

Resident Debby Burslem called Kelly’s death “A heartbreaking loss for Westfield and humanity in general. [He was] a man who was a great example of how to be a good human being. Such a nice guy. Always a smile on his face and often a twinkle in his eye. Dan stood so tall in his uniform, always with immense honor and pride. He could have been the poster model for the fireman children dream of growing up to be. His knowledge, advice and friendship will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both his family and his brotherhood.”

“He was highly respected,” said Reid Edles, president of the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad, who visited Tamaques Elementary School with Kelly just a few months ago. “A nice guy. Easy to work with. He will be missed by the Westfield community. It’s just a tragedy.”

“The words ‘consummate professional and career public servant’ do not do him justice. Dan was much, much more than that,” said Mayor Andy Skibitsky in a statement Tuesday. “The passing of Chief Dan Kelly is a tremendous loss to our community. He will be missed. We will forever be grateful for his nearly 34 years of exceptional service to the town of Westfield.”

A funeral mass for Chief Kelly was held Saturday at St. Helen’s Church. To read his obituary, click here.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 20, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

A Time for Reflection by Westfield's Town Historian

May 19, 2018

As Westfield’s Town Historian and since we are approaching our 300-year anniversary in 2020, I think this presents a good time to reflect on the town’s history focusing on how it has changed during these past three centuries. Formed as the West Fields of Elizabethtown in 1720, this farming community has undergone significant transformation from inception to a thriving, bustling center ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Counterfeit $100 Bills, Man Arrested in Car Burglary & More

May 16, 2018

May 8, 2018 2:23 p.m.

A business in the 200 block of East Broad Street reported receiving payment for services with a counterfeit $100 bill. The suspect made a small purchase with the counterfeit bill and received change, depriving the business of $94.24 change and $5.26 purchase. Suspect described as a black male 25-40 years of age, with facial hair wearing a black Nike wind breaker jacket ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Fourth-Graders Promote Drug Free New Jersey

May 18, 2018

EDISON, NJ -- The fourth-grade health class at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison, taught by Dawn Francavilla of Somerset, was involved in designing a folder for a Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. The students were challenged to create anti-drug artwork relating to the theme "Fun Things to do Instead of Doing Drugs."

The winning entries had their artwork reproduced as ...

Ask Maria: How can I help my son? 

Q: My son's best friend's mom just passed away. I am concerned for my son and don't know what to do for him. He is distraught. How can I help my son? 

Response:

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. No two people grieve the same, even in the family. I am certain that your son’s friend and mom are like family to your son. Losing his ...

17 Homes Sold week of May 6 to May 13 2018 in Cranford, Westfield, Mountainiside, Fanwood and Scotch Plains

Seventeen homes sold week of May 6 to May 13, 2018, in Cranford, Scotch Plains, Westfield,  Mountainside and Fanwood:*

 

               ...

Dog Missing from Fanwood Home

UPDATE: Reunited with owner!

ORIGINAL POST: Lexi was seen north side of Fanwood Thursday. She's 25 lbs., tall and looks like a fox.

Lexi is friendly and was wearing a collar with a tag. Call 732-259-5570 if you spot her.

IRS Grants Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Reduction of Maximum Deductible HSA Contributions

The IRS recently announced relief for taxpayers with family coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) who contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

 

For 2018, taxpayers with family coverage under an HDHP may treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible HSA contribution.

 

The annual amount had been reduced to $6,850 for 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Eight Westfield Student Vocalists Accepted into 2018-2019 All-State Choruses

Eight student vocalists from Westfield High School have been accepted into the 2018-2019 All-State Choruses.

Performing with the 2018 All-State Mixed Chorus in November will be Charlotte Geary, Zachary Lemberg, Joseph Maldonado, Vincent Mora, Nicole Player, and Matthew Siroty. The Mixed Chorus will perform at the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention in November and at the New ...

‘Chambers USA 2018’ Recognizes John Schmidt Among List of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is pleased to announce that John H. Schmidt has once again been recognized by “Chambers USA” in their annual list of leading lawyers for business. Chambers and Partners, which produces “Chambers USA,” is a client referral organization that researches and subjectively ranks attorneys and law firm practice groups nationwide ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Obituaries

Donn A. Snyder, 88, died at home on May 8 in Southern Shores, NC, where he was a resident for ...
Read more

A.J. Perri Helping Veterans in Need - Again

May 18, 2018

TINTON FALLS, NJ – A.J. Perri is back helping veterans in need – this time launching a search for veterans and their families through a partnership with ABC-TV.

As part of the A.J. Perri Cares Program, a lucky New Jersey veteran and their family will receive air conditioning/heating relief this summer.

"They fought for our country, and their families sacrificed," said ...