T.J. was born Thomas Joseph Kelly IV on November 19, 1980, and although he lived in a few places before, he spent most of his time growing up in Port Jefferson Station, Long Island. He is the only son of Tom and Janice Kelly, and has two sisters Dawn and Meghan. He attended Comsewogue High School, played on the baseball and golf team, and although the school did not have an official swim team, he did represent them in high school meets. Most of his after school time was spent at the Ward Melville high school pool, practicing with the Three Village Swim Club. It is there he met many of his closest friends, who quickly merged with his school friends. He also made many friends during his years lifeguarding at Robert Moses Beach. This began the journey of friendships that will always lovingly be called "T.J.'s Clubhouse".
After high school, T.J. went on to swim and play water polo for Iona College for two years. He finished his swim career at Oswego College, where he and his teammates still hold records. He graduated with a Business management degree, and then started the process of building his resume to become a Medical Device sales territory manager. He always had the drive to succeed!! He loved his work, and the companies he worked for loved him. We have received many letters from his present and former employers expressing how they not only respected his work ethic and talent, but his kindness and congeniality as well. One of his managers told us "he was the most talented medical device rep that he has ever worked with in his 20 plus years in the business".
T.J. left this world suddenly and way too soon on March 23, 2017. His friends and family are still figuring out how to live without him. He was the "go to" person for his friends, and the most dedicated son and brother anyone could ever wish for. His family meant the world to him, and his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins adored him.
Since his passing, many people have called, sent emails, cards and letters. There is not one person who did not say something wonderful about T.J. What really amazed us was that most said the same words about him....He had a beautiful smile, a kind and generous heart, and an amazing way of caring and listening to people,but always remaining humble about himself.
T.J. brought us to Long Beach and we are forever grateful for that. A bench has been placed on the Boardwalk for all to sit and reflect on. It is right under the lamp post as you walk up the ramp on Franklin Boulevard. Please sit on it when you get the chance, and never forget this beautiful soul!! We know he is shining down on all of us!!
WE ARE ALSO PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE THREE VILLAGE SWIM CLUB HAS NAMED ONE OF THEIR SWIM MEETS AFTER TJ !! IT IS HELD EVERY JANUARY AND FOR YEARS HAS BEEN CALLED THE JANUARY JOUST. IT IS NOW CALLED "THE TJ KELLY MEMORIAL JOUST" THANK YOU TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS HAPPEN. IT IS TRULY AN HONOR FOR TJ AND OUR FAMILY!!
ABOUT THE TJ KELLY MEMORIAL FUND
The TJ Kelly Memorial Fund was established to celebrate his life and keep his memory alive by providing scholarships and other financial support to those who are deserving and in need. We have decided to award scholarships through the Three Village Swim Club, a place where TJ trained from the age of 7 till he graduated high school and went on to swim and play water polo in college. Swimming was a big part of TJ's life and he had a passion for it. We feel this is something he would love for us to do. We are awarding scholarship money to seniors that possess the same qualities as TJ and are going on to swim in college also. Depending on our net proceeds we will also be giving money to a family in need, not necessarily limited to the swim club community. We ask if anyone knows of a family or an individual who needs help to contact us.!! Hopefully this is only the beginning of what this fund will do.
On May 4, 2018 our family was invited to attend the Three Village Swim Club awards dinner to present the first TJ Kelly Memorial Scholarships. Those who wished to apply had to be graduating seniors who were committed to swim on a collegiate level. We chose a theme for the essay that was to be included with the application based on the way T.J. lived his life...".Living Beyond Yourself." The three winners were each awarded a scholarship for $5000. They are Ryan Kaplan who will be attending Marist College in the fall, Cameron Kubik who will be attending the University of Maine, and David He who will be attending MIT. Our family ,along with the guidance of the head coach chose the winners. It was not an easy decision. In addition to the scholarships awarded, we also presented a gift certificate to each of the 15 graduating seniors to use for college.
The Kelly Family congratulates all of the graduating senior members of the swim club for all their hard work and dedication, both in the pool and in the classroom. We wish you continued success in all your future endeavors !!
The first annual fundraiser for the TJ Kelly Memorial Fund held on November 24, 2017 was a huge success thanks to the generosity of all our family and friends! So many people have reached out to us to express how much fun they had. We think it went well above our expectations !!! Everyone has said they cannot wait for next year....so the planning has begun!! We hope you can join us this year on November 23rd at the Heritage Club at Bethpage. Please check this website for all the details.
Thomas or Janice Kelly
522 Shore Road Apt 4W
Long Beach, NY 11561
Donations can be made by check to The TJ Kelly Memorial Fund and mailed to the above address. You can also pay through paypal using the email address listed above.