Kevin Keane Skelly
August 20, 1979 – August 30, 2019
It is with deep sadness that the family of Kevin Keane Skelly announces his passing, on Friday, August 30, 2019, at the age of 40 years. Kevin lived in Roswell, Georgia with his wife, Kelly and their three beautiful children. Kevin was surrounded by his family and friends when he went to be with his Lord and Savior. Kevin is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife of 13 years and best friend of 23 years, Kelly, their three young children, Liam Brendan (9), Avalynn Rose (5), Gabriel Davis Keane (3), his parents Richard and Catherine Skelly, his sisters Sharon Rich and Meghan Markham, his brother-in-laws, Jeff Rich and Jared Markham, his three nieces, Teagan Markham, Arlyn Markham and Chloe Schwalen, his two nephews, Taryn Markham and Moses, his mother-in-law, Marla Schwalen, father-in-law, Jerome Schwalen, sister-in-law, Heather Schwalen, brother-in-law Nathan Schwalen and Nathan’s life partner Ivy Wiley, hundreds of brothers and sisters in Camp Sunshine, and many other friends and colleagues. Kevin is preceded in death by his son, Everett Joseph, his brother Brendan O’Connor, his aunt Karen O’Connor, his paternal grandparents, Richard and Mary E. Skelly, his maternal grandparents, Benedict “Red” and Agnes “Elsie” O’Connor. Kelly’s paternal grandparents, Joseph Roth and Mary and Fabian Schwalen, Kelly’s maternal grandparents, Elmer Knuth and Mildred Knuth.
As a childhood cancer survivor, Kevin attended a summer camp for children affected by cancer called Camp Sunshine. It was there that he was given the nickname “Vinnie,” and, as a teenager, he met his future wife, Kelly, an adolescent cancer survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As adults, Kevin and Kelly returned to Camp Sunshine as volunteers, and it is where Kevin asked Kelly to marry him during the summer of 2005. They were married in May of 2006, and began their family in 2010. They now have three children.
Kevin always had a smile on his face, joy to share and always treated everyone with dignity and respect, genuineness and generosity. He would ask about how you were doing or lend a helping hand rather than talking about himself or asking for help. Whether as a child, a teenager or an adult, Kevin consistently put others’ needs before his own. Even when facing his own adversity, Kevin would greet others with a smile and his baritone voice, and would be genuinely concerned for others’ wellbeing over his own.
Kevin always demonstrated tremendous faith in the Lord Jesus. In 2012, his, and Kelly’s, faith was tested when they lost their infant son, Everett Joseph Skelly (April 16, 2012 to July 25, 2012), as the result of a sudden family tragedy. Their faith would be tested again in the fall of 2016 when, after being in remission, or “cured,” for more than 31 years, Kevin was diagnosed again with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL. Kevin began treatment for ALL, received a bone marrow transplant from his older sister, Sharon in spring of 2017, and then began the recovery process. However, another test of their faith would come in the fall of 2018 when, after over 14 months of remission, Kevin relapsed with ALL again. Again, Kevin began treatment, received another bone marrow transplant from his younger sister, Meghan and, again began the recovery process. Despite two bone marrow transplants, bouts of improved health and healing, multiple hospital stays, months of every other day clinic and then over eight weeks in the intensive care unit at the hospital treating an infection…armed with a fighting spirit and with Kelly by his side on August 30th, Kevin and Kelly faced the ultimate test of their faith as Kelly and their close family and friends had to come to grips with saying goodbye to their beloved. Their hearts will never be the same without Kevin by their sides. And Kevin’s faith and perseverance will remain a constant reminder of how to courageously face the coming days, weeks, months and years without him. Beloved Kevin, you are and will continue to live on in your family’s and in your friend’s hearts and memories. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:23.
A Celebration of Life service will be held this Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Mt. Paran Church, 2055 Mt Paran Road NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30327. A memorial service will follow at Arlington Memorial Park, 201 Mt. Vernon Highway, Atlanta, Georgia 30328.
In lieu of flowers, if you would like to help Kelly and their children with all of the expenses she is facing, a GoFundMe page has been established for their support. You may click the link below entitled, The Skelly Family Fund. If you have questions about other ways to help, please contact Christopher Thurman at the bottom of the GoFundMe page.
Kelly has also created a means of communicating via The Caring Bridge. A link is available below entitled, More of Kevin's Journey.
- Visitation Saturday, September 7, 2019
- Celebration of Life Memorial Service Saturday, September 14, 2019
- Interment to follow the service
Kevin Keane Skelly
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September 6, 2019
To Dick, Cathy, Kelly and the kids, my heart goes out to you. My wife Lorena and I remember meeting Kevin and his beautiful family at Dick's annual Saint Patty's Day parties and watching his kids play with my son Gabriel. I always enjoyed talking to Kevin and he made us feel welcome. I didn't know him well but could feel good vibes just being around him. I could tell he was a good, kind man.
Take comfort that Kevin is at Peace in Heaven and you have a new Guardian Angel as he will always be with you in spirit. I pray God grant you all comfort, strength and peace.
Love to you all,
Mark, Lorena and Gabriel Robinette
September 4, 2019
My brother, Jonathan Edwards was Kevin’s best friend growing up, so as long as I can remember, I’ve known Kevin. I can remember being a kid and always loved when he came over because I knew he was going to be funny and add such a positive energy to our house. He was always so kind to me as his best friend’s annoying little sister. I just wanted to be around them, I thought they were the coolest and Kevin was hilarious.
As we got older, I’d talk to him about music and boys, things a little out of my brother’s paygrade. He had always said he’d be there for me and do anything he could to help me out.
Well one time, I definitely cashed that check when I was 17- my best friend, Katie had gotten the courage to break up with her terrible boyfriend the day before prom. Dateless and still wanting to go to prom, I thought.... HEY! Kevin always said if I needed anything, let him know! So I called Kevin and asked if he’d take my dateless best friend to prom tomorrow night. And he did!!
I remember standing with Katie and all our other friends at the obligatory picture party, waiting for a trolly to haul about 20 teenagers to the Fox Theater.
Here comes Kevin. Driving up in his silver convertible, “Mr E Man” on the tag, sunglasses, tux, corsage in hand. He comes walking up and Katie says to me “OMG this is the coolest moment of MY LIFE!”
Five years older than us, Kevin fit right in with all of us high school kids and we all had the greatest time.
He was always so fun to be around and adapted so well in any atmosphere. I loved seeing how my brother was when they were together- so happy and fun, ready to take on anything. Kevin brought out the best in him.
Gosh he was such a great guy. A light in the world that will truly be missed.
Love you, Kevin. Thanks for joy, generosity, and helping form who my brother is today. It was a privilege to know you. ❤️
September 3, 2019
I was blessed to have had the pleasure, privilege and honor to have worked with Kevin at Public Broadcasting Atlanta and to have continued our friendship after both of us moved on to other endeavors. Kevin was one of the warmest, kindest, friendliest people I have ever known. He could make anyone feel warm, at ease and comfortable in any surroundings. Kelly and Sharon have shared insights of Kevin as husband, father and brother. Those of us who were lucky enough to have known him knew that family was everything to Kevin. I cannot imagine what it was like for Kevin to have lived a life with the challenges he faced. I cannot imagine anyone who could have shown us all how to live it any better.
September 3, 2019
I've been blessed to know Kevin for the past 3 years. He allowed me into the inner pieces of his heart where he beautifully processed his love and care for Kelly and the kids. How blessed we are to have known one another.
Every time I saw Kevin in the month of August, I would look him in the eye and ask him about his will to live. He was up for the battle, because he so desperately wanted to be here for his family.
But the word we proclaimed over and over was "sovereign". And I reminded Kevin repeatedly that God had him right where He needed him. The words "well done" were so appropriate for Kevin's life.
Whole in Christ. Kevin is now healed.
September 3, 2019
I was blessed to have worked with Kevin at Public Broadcasting Atlanta. He was such a joy to be around. From the first evening when my husband and I came to help answer phones during Pledge he made us feel right at home. No matter how much work he had to deal with he always managed a smile (and often a very funny joke or quip). He had a way of making everyone feel good and was always willing to help in any way he could. It was a reflection of what a kind soul he was. Even during the darkest times in his life he was positive and kind.
And what a "family man"! He was so in love with Kelly and his children.
My sincere sympathy to his beautiful family. The world seems far less bright without Kevin in it.
September 3, 2019
What can I say about my baby brother that is even half as eloquent as what his dear wife, Kelly, has written? So many memories...hard to pick which ones to share.
I remember fondly working an extra part time job at a catering facility with him when we were in our twenties. He came to work with me as waitstaff where I had been bartending for three years. That first night of being on his feet for 6 hours, I remember how exhausted he was in the car on the way home: barely enough energy to gnaw on the dried out chicken fingers left over from the reception we had just worked.
Flash forward a couple months, they rotated me off the bar one night to work food and, being out of my element, I asked the shift manager for guidance on how to set up the Country French food station. She said chirpily and confidently before walking away to her next task, “Don’t worry: Kevin will show you.”
At the time, that felt like a hot coal in my stomach. My pride was already nicked by having been taken off bar for the night, and now I'm going to have to (a) ask for help from (b) my rookie baby brother? Ouch. But after a pause to swallow that pride, I realized that there was no one else in the world I would rather have help me in that moment.
To no one’s surprise reading this who knew him, Kevin graciously started explaining “the ropes” without any pretense, bossiness, or even awareness that the Jedi Apprentice had now become.....the Master. He was more interested in working with his team members and doing the best job he could.
If you are wondering what kindness looks like,
If you are wondering what a life of service looks like,
If you are not sure how to carry on after the loss of your child,
If you need to know how to fight cancer three times like a boss,
Then try think of the warmest memory you have of him and.....
Don’t worry: Kevin will show you.
September 3, 2019
To all the Skelly family: The news about Kevin pulled at my heart and all who knew him. My family was neighbors with the Skellys in Fox Hills back when our kids were at Wheeler together. Kevin and my daughter Sarah worked together on the yearbook staff. Kevin was always such a happy positive young man as well as talented in many ways. This group of Wheeler friends and family were very close as they enjoyed their high school and college days. Through friends we would often hear about Kevin and his young family...so full of faith and hope. I was proud to know him and his family back in those days. We will continue to keep him, Kelly, their children and his family in our thoughts and prayers. You all have a special angel looking out for you. Much love...
Pam Stafford & family
September 2, 2019
September 2, 2019
My darling husband, beloved and faithful, charming and hilarious, Godly and kind-hearted, handsome and humble... 'missed' falls so incredibly short of what we are feeling right now with you not home with us. Your love filled every nook of our lives, your steadfast spirit and determination made us all stronger. You gave and gave of yourself when you had so much you were going through.
You will never ever ever be forgotten as we'll reflect on memories of you forever. Pictures, audio, video, and memories imprinted in our hearts and minds. Every moment we knew each other before our marriage, every moment we had before starting our family, every vacation, every pregnancy, every delivery, every mountain and every valley. You were not defined by your limitations, but you instead redefined them and always found a way to live out God's purposes in your life. We are all better because we did life beside you. The best husband. The best father to our boys. The best father to our girl. The best friend one could ever ask for. You are my first and only true love and my heart aches for your presence, your hugs, your kisses. I promise to raise our beautiful children how we did while we were together, they are devastated you are not coming home. As we did together, I will keep praying over their little hearts, minds and spirits and will keep asking our Lord to hold them tightly and heal their broken hearts.
You are forever loved Kevin Keane - forever thought of and forever remembered - every single part of you.
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
IN THE CARE OF