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Michael S. Kelly

October 25, 1968 September 2, 2021
Michael S. Kelly
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Obituary for Michael S. Kelly

Michael Stokely Kelly, professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work, died on Thursday, September 2, 2021. He was 52 years old.

Born in Chicago, he moved to Oak Park at age 4, where he attended Hawthorne and Holmes. At Oak Park and River Forest High School, wrote for the newspaper, acted in several plays, and served as junior class president. The highlight of his high school years was directing “Bleacher Bums” in the Little Theater, casting several kids who had never acted before.

He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1991 and later received his Master’s in Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was a family therapist, a youth minister at St. Giles Family Mass, and served for 14 years as a school social worker; first at Indian Trail middle school in Addison, and later Mann and Lincoln elementary schools in Oak Park.

He earned his PhD in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006 and joined the faculty at Loyola. He authored or edited several books, one of which was recently translated into Japanese, and published over 100 articles in his field. He was a fellow of the Oxford University Symposium for School-Based Family Counseling and edited the School Mental Health Journal and The International Journal of School Social Work. In 2020, he was named as the Lucian Welch and Carol Matusak Endowed Chair at Loyola University. A beloved teacher, Michael has mentored hundreds of school social workers across the US and Canada.

An avid runner, Michael completed 18 marathons, including in Chicago, Rome, and Ireland.

Michael is survived by his wife, Lucy Fox; their three sons, Benjamin, Isaac and Alfred; his mother, Karen Kelly; his brother-in-law, Daniel (Susan) Fox; his in-laws, Win and Alan Fox and countless loving relatives and dear friends. His father, Richard Kelly, died in 2010. A memorial service will be held, Thursday, September 9th at 1 p.m. at Oak Park Temple1235 North Harlem Avenue, Oak Park. The family requests that all attendees be fully vaccinated against covid-19. The synagogue requires proper masking while in the building. It will also be livestreamed at Interment private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide (

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




1:00 PM 9/9/2021 1:00:00 PM
Oak Park Temple

1235 North Harlem Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

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** The family requests that all attendees be fully vaccinated against covid-19. The synagogue requires proper masking while in the building.

Oak Park Temple
1235 North Harlem Avenue Oak Park 60302 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

199 Water Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10038

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