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 9 years ago, and we are forever grateful for that. A bench is being placed on the Boardwalk for all to sit and reflect on. It will be between Franklin Boulevard and Neptune. 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!!
ABOUT THE TJ KELLY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The TJ Kelly Memorial Scholarship 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. Since this is our first year, 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 might also help with tuition for the club if any family is in need. Hopefully this is only the beginning of what this fund will do.
The first annual fundraiser for the TJ Kelly Memorial Fund was a huge success thanks to the generosity of all our family and friends! So many people have reached out to us to tell us how much fun they had. We think it went well above the expectations of us all, including the family!! Everyone has said they cannot wait for next year....so the planning has begun!!
Thomas or Janice Kelly
522 Shore Road Apt 4W
Long Beach, NY 11561