Robert L. Kelley

Sep 04, 2020
Robert Kelley

St. George — Robert L. Kelley, 80, passed away Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, at his home with his sons by his side.

Born March 3, 1940, in Rockland to Edward M. and Eneeda (Nystrom) Kelley, Robert was born four months after his father was lost at sea aboard the scallop dragger Madeline & Flora, and never knew him. He was educated in local schools up to eighth grade when he left to go to work to help support his family.

In 1959, he was hit by a car while working at F.J. O’Hara’s Fish Plant and was in a cast up to his chest in the hospital, when he was introduced to his future wife, Vida Winslow. Robert always said it was love at first sight, and the two of them married in 1960.

A hard worker all his life, Robert was employed for his first few years with Rockland Poultry. In 1965, he and Vida moved to Connecticut, where he worked at Bic Pen as a maintenance man.

In 1970, he and Vida moved back to Maine and he went back to work at F.J. O’Hara’s as a fish cutter and later in maintenance. Over the years, he would go clamming with his close friends, Walter Robinson and Gene Colson.

Robert also lobstered, and in the 80’s fished on a scallop dragger like his father did. He also worked on the docks unloading boats at Stinson’s and F.J. O’Hara’s, did carpentry work and shingled houses with another good friend, Bill Robinson of Thomaston.

Robert finally retired in 2002 due to a bum leg that was not set right from his accident in 1959.

He loved his family very much, and was considered a favorite uncle among his many nieces and nephews. Although divorced from Vida many years ago, he maintained a strong love for her and continued to wear his wedding ring right up until his passing.

Predeceased by his parents, brothers and sisters and his granddaughter Heather Hamilton, he is survived by sons Timothy Kelley and his wife, Lori, of St. George; Bob Kelley Jr. and his wife, Levern, of Union; Ernie Kelley of St. George; eight grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

A graveside committal will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at Village Cemetery in Thomaston with Pastor Joe LaCombe officiating.

To share a memory or condolence with Robert’s family, visit their Book of Memories at

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.