VACAVILLE, Calif. - John J. Kelly, 90, died of heart failure Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Vacaville, Calif. At his request, no funeral service was held.

Mr. Kelly was born Sept. 20, 1918, in Albany, N.Y., and was raised in Brooklyn. He came West with the Civilian Conservation Corps and was stationed and worked east of Pendleton.

In 1940 he married Clare Gianelli of Pendleton. He worked at the Temple Hotel and drove taxi until the war, when he joined the Navy and became a ball turret gunner in a B-24 Liberator, the Buccaneers of Bombing Squadron 104. He flew 80 missions in the Pacific, earning the Navy Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Gold Star in lieu of second, third, fourth and fifth Air Medals. After the war he joined the Air Force and, with his wife and daughters accompanying him, served 27 years on military bases from Hawaii to Alaska to Okinawa. His last tour of duty was Travis AFB in Vacaville, where he and his wife continued to live after retirement.

Mr. Kelly is survived by daughters Judith Quaempts of Athena, Joan Phillips of Greenville, N.C., and Diane Kelly of Vacaville, Calif.; two sisters in Sparta, N.J.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by Clare, his beloved wife of 66 years.


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