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Eugene J. Kelly, a veteran of two wars who owned a paving business before working for the Cheektowaga Highway Department, died Tuesday (Dec. 21, 1999) in St. Joseph Hospital after becoming ill in his Cheektowaga home.

Kelly, 72, was born in Buffalo and served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II and the Air Force in the Korean War.

He formerly owned Gene Kelly Paving Co., which he operated for 12 years. He was later employed in the Cheektowaga Highway Department, from which he retired in 1993 after 12 years of service.

Kelly was active in many veterans and civic organizations. He served as commander of the Erie County Veterans of Foreign Wars from 1980 to 1981, as well as commander of Frank L. Gierlach Post 1320, American Legion. He was a past commander and most recently secretary of Sloan Memorial Post 355, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Kely was a member ofAMVETS Post 8113, Disabled American Veterans and the Korean War Veterans Association. He also served as a deputy volunteer with Veterans Hospital.

He was secretary of the St. Francis of Assisi Holy Name Society, a former vice president of the Forks Fire Department and member of Exempt Southwestern and New York State Fire Department associations. He was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and treasurer of the Town of Cheektowaga Retirees. Kelly was past Seam Squirrel of Pup Tent 54, Military Order of the Cooties, an organization that aids sick military veterans.

Kelly is survived by his wife, the former Ann M. Gauthier; two sons, Eugene T. of Cheektowaga and Michael of Gloucester, Va.; three daughters, Patti of Hamburg, Denise Kehoe and Cheryl, both of Cheektowaga; two brothers, Edward of Cheektowaga and Jerome of Depew; a sister, Kathleen Poloncarz of East Aurora; and 11 grandchildren.

A prayer service will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday in Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home, 2047 Broadway, Sloan. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 9:30 in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 135 N. Ogden St. Burial will be in St. Adalbert's Cemetery, Lancaster.

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