Frank Kelly left us after 68 years at 11.40 p.m. Saturday
night, July 26, on the 15th floor of the Sripat Building at Suan Dok
Hospital. He was not suffering any pain at the time and did not struggle;
his departure was peaceful. He had been hospitalized there off and on for
some time after an operation for esophageal cancer in March. Although the
esophageal cancer was excised completely and he recovered well at first, it
was discovered during the operation that the cancer had spread to his liver.
Memorial services were held at the Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday and
Wednesday July 29 and 30. There was a ceremony at the Chang Klan Road
crematorium Thursday afternoon July 31.
John Kelly May 5, 1935 - July 26, 2003
He first came to the attention of many in the expatriate
community here when he put notices up around town in August and September
1998 about information he needed for a book he was writing about expatriate
groups in North America, England, Mexico/the Caribbean, Hong Kong, and
Thailand. After establishing himself here, Frank taught English, focusing on
students and staff at the Faculties of Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Veterinary
Medicine at Chiang Mai University, where he endeared himself to many with
his enthusiasm, sense of humor, and determination to make learning English
as much fun as possible. Frank followed this up with six months as an
English language consultant for the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and
several months as an English language consultant for the President of Chiang
Frank had an uncanny knack for making friends, who ranged
from the oldest of Asian hands to the most newly arrived retirees. He loved
music and voice and was one of the founding members of the Chiang Mai
Chorale Society, where he was very active for two years. He also served as
Convener of the Informal Northern Thai Group for six months in 2001.
Frank also had a very distinguished career before coming
here. After receiving a PhD. in physical chemistry from the University of
New England in Australia in 1961, he had a series of positions in
universities and industry in the United States and Canada, which culminated
in 5 years as Director of Physical and Chemical Research for the Mallory
Battery Company in Canada and 5 years as Science Advisor for the Science
Council of Canada, where he was in contact with members of the Canadian
Government at the highest level. Frank once remarked that some of his
handiwork exists on the moon as a very special battery. He was an extremely
gifted writer and thinker and became very interested in public policy.
Before arriving here, he spent two years in Australia as the principal
caregiver for his mother, who was stricken with terminal cancer.
Frank is survived by his wife Misu and a one-and-a-half
year old daughter Lynn Margaret. Readers who would like to donate something
in Frank’s memory are encouraged to contact the Foundation for the
Education of Rural Children, Frank’s favorite charity here.
Copyright Edward Rose 2003