Sky Scene 06

Kieran J. Kelly

August 9, 1990 ~ December 26, 2021 (age 31)


Kieran Joseph Kelly, 31, gracefully succumbed to glioblastoma in the loving arms of his wife at his home in Northbridge, MA on Sunday, December 26, 2021.

Born on August 9, 1990, Kieran was the son of Nancy M. (McNicholas) Kelly and Kieran M. Kelly. He was raised in Charlestown, Massachusetts, attended Charlestown Catholic Elementary School, and graduated from Boston Latin School in 2008. During his time at Boston Latin, he participated in the concert and football band as a clarinetist, was an editor of The Argo, participated in Mock Trial, and was a member of the varsity sailing team. He received a BA in History at the Catholic University of America. During his undergraduate years, he was a Parliamentary intern at the Houses of the Oireachtas in Dublin, Ireland and a curatorial assistant at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.He later went on to study at Boston College, earning two separate master’s degrees in Theology and Higher Education Administration.

Kieran was well-known as a wordsmith, a linguist, and a scholar, but one of his greatest joys was working as a sailing instructor at Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown. He taught countless children and adults how to navigate the waters around Boston Harbor.

Kieran was formerly employed at St. John’s Seminary and most recently at Sparhawk Academy as a theology instructor.

Kieran’s Catholic faith was at the heart of everything he ever accomplished. He was devoted to the Church, altar served at St. Francis de Sales church for over a decade, participated in the Knights of Columbus and other Catholic fraternal organizations, and he regularly read texts that edified his catechesis. He delved into the deep philosophical enigmas of his faith and it was through his faith that he found grace and solace. Kieran was a source of inspiration, joy, laughter, and comfort to all who met him.

Kieran is survived by his devoted wife Emily M. (Gonya) Kelly; his parents Nancy (McNicholas) Kelly and Kieran Kelly; his grandfather Thomas J. McNicholas; his sister, Diana M. (Kelly) Ho, her husband Joseph N. Ho, and his nephew and godson Liam J. Ho; his many aunts, uncles, and cousins in the Boston area, in Ireland, and abroad; his parents-in-law Janine and John Gonya, his many faithful Gonya siblings-in-law, and his nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by his grandmother Margaret (Shea) McNicholas of Charlestown; his grandmother Maureen (Cannon) Kelly and Michael Kelly of Galway, Ireland.

Calling hours are Wednesday, Dec. 29th, in the Pickering & Son Upton Funeral Home, 45 Main Street - Upton, MA 01568 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral Mass on Thursday, Dec. 30th at St. Mary’s Parish - 77 Mendon St, Uxbridge, MA 01569 at 11:30 AM.

Interment will follow at Lakeview Cemetery, Upton MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Kieran’s memory can be made to Courageous Sailing Center (Charlestown, MA), Sparhawk Academy (Millis, MA), or Mass Citizens for Life (

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Kieran

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Pickering & Son Upton Funeral Home, Inc.

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


Calling Hours
December 29, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Pickering & Son Upton Funeral Home, Inc.
45 Main Street
Upton, MA 01568

Funeral Mass
December 30, 2021

11:30 AM
St. Mary's Parish
77 Mendon Street
Uxbridge, MA 01569

© 2022 Pickering & Son Upton Funeral Home, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility