Joseph Michael Kellett, 95, died peacefully at his home on Post House Road, Harding Township NJ, on February 8, 2019.
He was known in life for devotion to his family, for kindness to strangers in distress, and for tireless foster care in his home for unwanted dogs awaiting adoption.
By those closest to him, Joseph is also remembered for his love of nature and the outdoors, which served as self-therapy for the stresses of modern life.
On weekends, he was often to be found in vehicle- and pavement-free woodlands of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Morristown National Historical Park (Jockey Hollow) or the New Jersey Green Acres Program. There he would walk in silent communion with tall hardwood trees, blossoming shrubs and forest wildlife.
Born on September 5, 1923, in Newark to the late Frank J. Kellett and Marie Kruse Kellett, Joseph was educated at St. Leo Elementary School, St. Benedict Preparatory School and Irvington High School.
On May 1, 1948, Joseph married Shirley Marie Anlas of Irvington, who preceded her husband in death on November 19, 2005. Joseph also was preceded in death by his brother Francis and sisters Marie Kellett and Helen Mangold, all of New Jersey.
Joseph retired in the 1970s after decades of successful work in teletype maintenance for New Jersey Bell.
His civilian employment followed service with distinction in the Army Signal Corps in India during World War II. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1945. In later years, he recalled with affection his years of military service.
He is survived by three children: daughters Patricia Kellett Burns of Wilmington NC and Joan Frances Kellett of Harding Township NJ, and son Robert Joseph Kellett of Bedminster NJ.
He also is survived by granddaughters Kelly Burns Pike and Sarah Katherine Burns of Wilmington NC; by granddaughter Faith Louise Kellett of Bedminster NJ; and by great- grandson Bennett Hanover Pike and great-granddaughter Caroline Patricia Pike, both of Wilmington NC.
Joseph was buried with military honors on February 14, 2019, in Hilltop Cemetery, Mendham NJ. The service was presided over by Msgr. Kenneth Lasch.
Memorial gifts to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) will be appreciated.