The following comments were made by NAPF Board members and staff in reaction to the news of Frank Kelly’s death on June 11, 2010.
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I have sad news. The world lost a great and indomitable soul when Frank Kelly passed away earlier this morning, just one day shy of his 96th birthday. I had stopped in to visit him and he was resting quietly. He was very peaceful as he passed on. I know he had high hopes of reuniting with his beloved Barbara.
Frank lived a long and good life, one which deserves to be celebrated, as he celebrated life itself. He never wavered from his belief that what we were doing at the Foundation was critical for humanity’s future, and he always believed that by our efforts we would create a more secure and decent future for humanity.
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How terribly sad for us all. We have lost a friend and a major source of inspiration. Yet for Frank, there is now peace.
I had looked forward to attending his birthday party tomorrow. Instead, I’ll spend that hour thinking about how he affected me over the past 25 years. When I think of the term, “smile,” I honestly can’t come up with a better visual than Frank’s face. Nor can I think of a better exemplar of dedication to task. He was single-minded without being dogmatic. And who will ever forget his gentle reminders about what Harry Truman would have said about war and nuclear weapons.
Sometimes, I caught myself thinking — hey, this is not on the agenda; this is not a part of the present discussion. But then, I’d come full circle. Frank had noticed that, though focused on the issues of the day, we might have lost sight of the larger picture…so he was going to remind us why we were gathered around that table; he was present to help us focus on the more important issues — how to move the planet closer to a system based on peaceful conflict management and how to eliminate nuclear weapons from humanity’s collection of “helpful” gadgets.
Frank was one of a kind. There will be no replacing him, but perhaps he can still serve as that gentle reminder, especially when we experience a difficult moment at a Board meeting, stressing about an insignificant “this” or an absurd “that”….perhaps his spirit will, once again, remind us about why we are there. His was the clarion call to purpose.
I will truly miss him though I know he will be at every meeting, smiling…and gently reminding us to stay on task.
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Peter, your comments are beautifully and accurately stated. You were the one at the last board meeting that affirmed Frank for reminding us of our higher purpose. It was a perfect and familiar meeting with Frank always at the end of the table in his wheel chair. Sometimes we thought he was sleeping or nodding off…but he never missed a beat. He was always present. And, as you said, he never missed a chance to admonish us about the more important goal. I mentioned to someone today, there were no idle words from Frank Kelly. He always made meaningful statements.
You are right. There will never be anyone like him. We were all so blessed to work with him for all these years.
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This is truly very sad news. I had just written a card to Frank late last night. His life has made this world a better place for so many reasons.
Frank Kelly’s life is one to celebrate in the best way we can at the foundation. He was a founder and cared so deeply for our cause. I still remember his admonitions at the most recent board meeting.
We have lost our hero.
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Frank was such a lovely man. He thought and felt deeply about the wellbeing of all humanity. At the same time, he was warm and funny and optimistic in his outlook. I will miss his smiles and hugs, but I am glad he is at peace. My heart goes out to his family.
Lessie Nixon Schontzler
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For too many people, joy is a rare –or at best occasional — feeling.
For Frank, joy was a way of living.
He always had a twinkle in his eye, an idea in his head and a song in his heart.
Both fiercely dedicated and embracingly kind, he lived in his own circle of grace — blessing those around him even as he appreciated the blessings they brought to him.
I miss him, but what an extraordinarily good and joyful life he led.
To a true wager of peace and appreciator of humankind!
All love and honor to you, Frank.
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I too share the sense of loss following Frank Kelly’s death. He was a radiant spirit, blessed with a sunlit disposition, generous of spirit, and profoundly dedicated to a peaceful and feminized and denuclearized future for humanity. We will miss his presence, but I feel that his legacy will serve us well as guidance and source of inspiration.
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In addition to his moral leadership and vision for a more just, peaceful, and (as Richard puts it) feminized world, the quality which most endears Frank to me was his talent for making his partner in conversation, whoever that may be, feel especially intelligent, perceptive, and full of insight. Suffice to say that a visit with Frank did no harm to one’s self-esteem.
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Perhaps because I am here in France where the reminders of World War II are so present and the honor and glory of military victories and wars are celebrated so often with marches and holidays that I feel especially close to the days of Harry Truman and Frank Kelly and appreciate even more than I would have at home, how extraordinary a man Frank was for his time.
I feel very privileged to have known him on the Foundation Board–look at the guidance his beliefs have given us! I also really appreciate the gusto he has shown over these last few years. I am especially happy that we could celebrate his 95th birthday last year in such grand style and that he enjoyed it so much–that is a wonderful memory to have.
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Although I am a new board member and did not have the pleasure of meeting Frank Kelly, I have had the opportunity to get to know how wonderful he was through your kind words.
Yolanda Nunn Gorman
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We were so looking forward to the party tomorrow. We loved Frank so much. He was my idol in the organization. A truly great human being. We will miss him very much.
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I am so sad to hear of the news about Frank. He was so lucid, so full of emotion and seemed so pleased to have visitors last month. I will always be grateful to have spent some of the afternoon with him during our visit to Santa Barbara. He sent us with several books including his most recent.
It is so rare to find someone remaining true to shameless idealism to the very end! He left a wonderful legacy in NAPF, and I feel so fortunate to have been influenced by his vision. The best compliment to his exemplary life is to continue working for a more just and peaceful world ourselves.
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Roxanne and I remember him well. He was always so kind and welcoming and keen to share stories. I am certain he will be missed by very many people. And what a tremendous legacy.