Hon. Patricia Dreyer Kelly

November 2, 1934April 12, 2021
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Hon. Patricia Dreyer Kelly of Downers Grove, Illinois passed away on Monday, April 12, 2021. She was born November 2, 1934. Beloved wife of the late Thomas William Kelly and loving mother of the late Sean Thomas Kelly and the late Kevin Patrick Kelly. She is survived by her loved and loving daughter Michelle “Micki” Kelly-Arendt and her husband Warren Arendt, as well as her dear brother Clifford Dreyer and his wife Irene Dreyer. Patricia was the proud Aunt of many nieces and nephews, including Judy, Kim, Michael and Thomas.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois to Loretta and Clifford Dreyer and was sister to Clifford Dreyer and the late James Dreyer. Pat married Tom in 1956 and had three children. She earned her B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1971, her M.A. from the University of Illinois in 1972 and her J.D. from DePaul University in 1975. She clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Mel R. Jiganti, practiced Corporate Law, Family Law and Social Security Disability Law before her appointment to the bench. Pat served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security for more than a decade. She ended her career as Chief Judge for the Social Security Administration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 2000, Pat retired with Tom to Cape Coral, Florida where she enjoyed the company of family and friends, oil painting, her dogs and her pool. Pat was a shining example and generous mentor to many. She was much loved and will be sorely missed.

A visitation will be held on Friday, May 7, 2021 from 4:00-8:00 PM at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, 5015 Lincoln Avenue, Lisle, Illinois, 60532. She will be interred at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Evergreen Park, Illinois in a private ceremony at a later date.

In consideration of the safety of our guests and associates, Blake-Lamb Funeral Home will adhere to the current gathering restrictions in the state of Illinois, which allow 50 or fewer guests at services. Proper social distancing must be practiced and all guests will be required to wear face masks at all times. Thank you for your cooperation.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Kelly family.


  • Visitation

    Friday, May 7, 2021


Hon. Patricia Dreyer Kelly

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Warren Arendt

May 6, 2021

Ten years ago this month life's changes brought our family to the place where it was in everyone's best interest to have mom live with us. My friends commented "Good luck with that!" referring to the stigma of a "Live in Mother-in-law". However the opposite happened and I gained a true friend. Sure we had some differences in opinion: After her appointment to Chief Federal Judge for Social Security in Wisconsin mom became an avid Green Bay Packer fan, with very vocal bragging about my Chicago Bear’s losses to them. We started making little bets on on these rivalry matches. Then we progressed to token wagers on Jeopardy. I would record Jeopardy each day and watch that day’s show with her when I got home from work. I was surprised at how many times she would beat me and it was many months later that she finally told me she was a member of Mensa.

Having mom live with us made it easier for Micki to make sure that she ate the proper foods and took her medication as prescribed. We started a Friday night dinner club and went to many of the local restaurants. Although there were some sacrifices we wouldn’t have had it any other way. I know that she had many good years with us both medically and personally with it being a loving and kind family relationship. Knowing her well educated and opinionated conversations, I find it hard to respect another woman as much as I do her, with only one exception, her daughter Micki who was raised in kind. Our house is quieter now and she is missed. I know she will never be forgotten!
We love you mom!

Warren Arendt

Robin Leach

May 1, 2021

Judge Pat holds a special place in my heart as my "Friend Mom". Not just being a mother to my dear friend, Micki, but a friend to me as well. I hope she knows how well she loved, and how included we all felt in her presence. As a Mother figure, we all were privy to her warm hugs, as well as her occasional stink eye when rightly due. I feel sure that she is still praying for all of us from Heaven.
Thank you, Your Honor, for never judging us, and loving us as you found us. I hope you are in the arms of those you've missed for so long. I love you, and will never forget you. Thank You, God, for giving us Mrs. Kelly.