September 16, 2023
William H. Kelleher
Kelleher, William H. of Hingham, MA, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at age 95.
Bill was born in Newburyport, MA on July 31, 1928, to the late C. Henry and Elizabeth (Royan) Kelleher and was the beloved husband of the late Ann (Burke) Kelleher. Bill was predeceased by sister-in-law Elizabeth Finneran (Francis) and brothers Jack (Mary), Joe (Shirley), Jerry, and Dick (Gloria). As the oldest of 7 boys Bill is survived by Bob (Mae) and Eddie (Joyce), and sister-in-law Yoko as well as many loved nieces and nephews. He was particularly proud to be the longest living descendent of the Kelleher clan going back to the arrival of Jeremiah Kelleher and Julia Crowley from Ireland in 1852.
Bill graduated from Newburyport High School in 1946. The day after graduation, along with 6 of his buddies he travelled by train to Boston to enlist in the armed services. Bill served in the U.S. Army’s occupation forces from 1946-1949. Immediately upon his return, he took advantage of the GI Bill and attended Boston University graduating in 1952. Shortly thereafter, he obtained a position in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he had a distinguished and storied 37-year career, serving in various capacities, finally retiring as Director of the West Roxbury and Brockton VA Medical Centers. He was devoted to serving veterans and was recognized for his contributions earning numerous awards and commendations. In 1994, he received the Distinguished Career Award by the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs which was given for outstanding efficiency, integrity, dedication and loyalty. The high standards exhibited throughout his career set an example for others to follow.
Along with many of his career achievements, Bill was most proud of his family. He met and married the “choir girl who caught his eye” at Immaculate Conception Church in Newburyport in 1952. He and Ann shared a lifetime of adventures and experiences. Together through 14 career assignments which took them to 13 cities in 9 different states, they created a home centered on faith, devotion, and love. Their first of 6 children, Kathy, died in infancy of heart disease. He is survived by Marla Robinson and husband David, Karen Keogh and partner Dennis Whalen, Noreen Keras and husband Rick, Kevin Kelleher and wife Tricia, and Suzanne Farley and husband Dan. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Andrew, Jillian, and Brian Robinson, Caroline, Greg, Tom and wife Sarah Keras, Kate and husband David Sweet, William and Christopher Kelleher, Ryan and Elizabeth Farley and 4 great grandchildren: Henry, Warren, and Noa Sweet, and Theo Keras.
Bill was kind, generous and proud of his entire family. Whether sitting on the front porch in Hingham, attending his numerous high school reunions, reveling in the accomplishments and lives of his grandchildren, or just sitting on a mall bench, he was a friend to all. He always had a story to tell, travel directions to give, and a good Irish joke to share. In his later years there was nothing he enjoyed more than a big scoop of coffee ice cream, or a 3-finger pour of fine Irish whiskey.
Bill inspired all who met him, all who knew him, and all who were blessed to be his family or friend. He was a true gentleman. He lived his life guided by the Irish Blessing, “May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam.”
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visitation on Saturday, September 23rd, from 9-10 am in the Pyne Keohane Funeral Home, 21 Emerald St. (off Central St.), HINGHAM. Following the visitation, a funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Church, Newburyport, at 12 pm. Services will conclude with a private burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Newburyport.