Robert “Bob” Dean Kelly, 66, of The Villages, Fla., and formerly from the Byron and Dodge Center communities, died Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla., with his loving family by his side.
Bob was born on April 24, 1952, in Decorah, Iowa, to Frank and Mary (Knox) Kelly. He graduated from Mabel-Canton High School, where he met the love of his life, Lisa Rolfshus, whom he later married and enjoyed nearly 47 years of marriage.
After graduating from high school, Bob attended Rochester State Junior College, where he played football earning all-division and all-region honors. Upon completing his undergraduate education degree from Winona State University, Bob began his teaching and coaching career at Byron High School in 1976, where he taught History and Physical Education while coaching football and girls’ basketball. He went on to complete his master’s degree and served in various roles, including Athletic Director, Junior High Principal, and Senior High Principal at Byron High School. He was inducted into the Byron Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010. Bob obtained his Superintendent certification and subsequently became Superintendent of Triton Public Schools, where he eventually retired in 2013, after a 37-year career in education.
Bob was active in the communities in which he lived. He was a member of the Byron Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years, Byron Lions Club, and Christ the King Catholic Church. While living in Dodge Center, he was a member at Dodge Country Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and Lions Club.
Upon retirement, Bob and Lisa became residents of Florida and lived in the retirement community of The Villages, where they were able to golf together regularly, ride bicycles, lounge by the pool, and attend classes offered through The Villages Enrichment Academy. Bob loved entertaining family and friends at their home in Florida. One of his greatest joys was driving around on his golf cart with his grandkids in search of lost golf balls and alligators, and watching his children and grandchildren play sports. He took great pride in accomplishing his “bucket list,” which included visiting all 50 states and traveling to Ireland.
Bob is survived by his wife, Lisa; children, Ryan (Heather) Kelly of Rochester, Megan (Travis) Gill of Zumbrota, and Bridget (Reggie) Stevens of Lakeville; grandchildren, Alexa and Owen Kelly, Tyson and Griffin Gill, and Vaughn Stevens; siblings, Marilyn Erickson of Houston, LaDonna (Cleon) Brenno of Canton, Douglas (Rita) Kelly of Rochester, and Mary Faith (Lynn) Martinson of Monona, Iowa; and sisters-in-law, Carolyn Kelly of Harmony, Vergene Kelly of Canton, Peggy Kelly of Albert Lea, Donna Kelly of Cresco, Iowa.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mary Kelly; and siblings, Leo Kelly, James Kelly, Paul Kelly, and Frank Kelly Jr.
A memorial Mass for Bob will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at Christ the King Catholic Church in Byron, officiated by the Rev. John Lasuba. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Byron Funeral Home, and one hour prior to the Mass Saturday at the church. Burial will be held at a later date.
Memorials are preferred to the Byron Volunteer Fire Department, Byron Public Schools, or Triton Public Schools, all of which were very important to Bob.
Online condolences are welcome at www.byronfuneralhome.com.