Saturday, 2:15 PM
What follows is a partial transcript of the remarks of Peggy Paulli, Lieutenant Kevin Kelley's sister:
Before I begin, I would just like to take a moment to say thank you to all of Kevin's firefighter brothers. I know that those are just two simple words. And please forgive me. But there are no words to express our family's appreciation and gratitude for the honor, the respect, and the love that you have shown to Kevin in the last week. ... God bless you all and keep you safe.
Kevin loved being a firefighter, he was proud to be one. And, as I was writing this, there was an episode of Firehouse USA in the background behind me, and I could hear Kevin's voice. He was asked a question and I don't know what the question was, but his response to that was, "I think I'm a good firefighter, I hope I'm a good firefighter, it's what the other guys think that counts. If someone says, 'Hey, he's a good jake, I don't mind working for him,' that's the best compliment you can get." And I thank you all, because I believe that today you have paid him that compliment.
We, as his family, would like you to know a little about the Kevin that we knew and loved. The Kevin that was a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, and a friend.
We grew up in a two-family home in Dorchester, Fields Corner, St. Ambrose parish. Our grandmother and our aunt lived on the first floor. ... We were a typical Irish Catholic family, typical of the neighborhood at that time. We watched wrestling Saturday mornings and Hogan's Heroes on Saturday night. We ate Sunday dinner at our grandmother's kitchen table. We all learned to play cribbage. It became a competitive sport at our home.
Kevin, God love him, grew up in a house full of women, and he spent his adult life in a house full of women. It's no small wonder that he loved going to the firehouse. ...
Kevin enjoyed the simple things in life: floating around the pool with a beer and a newspaper, barbecuing ribs and chicken wings, winning at cribbage, playing Wii with the kids, hiking in the Blue Hills. ... Kevin truly was a kid at heart; he loved Disneyworld and Universal Studios and taking cruises. Kevin could be a hard person to know, but if you were able to do that, then you'd know that Kevin was a man well worth knowing. He loved to laugh and had a great sense of humor and he would never ever pass up an opportunity to poke fun at you. If the occasion arose. He cried easily, both tears of sadness and tears of joy.
More than 20 years ago, Kevin bought a pop-up camper. and thus began a family camping tradition. And every year for a week in the summer we would all band together and head up to New Hampshire. Those camping weeks have provided our family with a wealth of happy and fun memories. ... And we have those memories all because of Kevin.
Kevin was a family man. The most important people in his life and the people that brought him the most joy and happiness were Gloria, Susie, Chrissy, and Mo. Spending time with them was what he enjoyed most. A few months ago, they took a family cruise and when he talked about that cruise, his face lit up. ... Your dad could not have loved each of you girls more than he did.
Since Friday afternoon, many, many people have said so many wonderful and kind things about Kevin. Words that our family appreciates more than any of you can begin to imagine. But I believe the words that would have mattered most to Kevin -- and that I'm sure have brought tears to his eyes and a smile to his face up there in heaven -- have been said over and over again by his girls, by Susie and Chrissy and Mo. Those words are, "He was the best dad in the whole world." Thank you.
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