Martin J Kelly was born in 1934 in the Bronx, New York to Irish immigrant parents who
were originally from the small town of Ahascragh, County Galway, Ireland. He was raised along
with his younger sister Marie on the old Wissmann "Country Estate" in the Throggs Neck
section of the Bronx. In addition to his job as a NYC subway motorman, his father served as
both chauffeur and caretaker on the estate until a fire destroyed their home in the early 1950's.
The family relocated a short distance away in Edgewater Park, Bronx.
Martin attended St. Francis de Chantal elementary school and Cardinal Hayes High
School, both in the Bronx. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Manhattan College in
1957 and a Master's degree in Education from Fordham University in 1960. He was a Social
Studies teacher at Springfield Gardens Jr. and Sr. High Schools in the NYC school system from
1958-1968. In 1968 he began working at Freeport High School in Freeport, Long Island as an
Assistant Principal. He would spend the remainder of his career at Freeport until he retired in
1991 as Chairman of the Guidance Department.
While in college, Martin met the love of his life, Catherine McHugh. They were married
in June, 1957 and eventually settled in Wantagh, Long Island in the home they would ultimately
share with their seven children and remain in until their death in 2015. During those years
Martin became involved in various school and community organizations including the Wantagh
High School Sports Boosters Club and the Wantagh Little League for which he served on the Board
of Directors for over 30 years.
Always the educator, Martin was fascinated with Irish history and culture and was eager
to share his passion with others of the same interest. Along with his dear friend, Ray Coyne,
they organized the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area in 1978. He remained an
officer of that organization for many years until his death.
The Kelly Family Memorial Fund has been established in loving memory of Martin and
Catherine Kelly to honor their life and legacy by giving back to the community they held so
dear. There is currently a scholarship fund in his name in place at Freeport High School which
we plan to further fund. In addition to that, we hope to have the opportunity to fund
additional scholarships or donations to educational institutions or community organizations
that he attended or sponsored or which fulfill the same goals and criteria he embraced and
endorsed throughout his life.