Dr. Daniel "Doc" Peter Kelly, Sr.

Army Badge
  • Name: Dr. Daniel "Doc" Peter Kelly Sr.
  • Location of Birth: Minneota, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: January 10, 1929
  • Date of Death: April 3, 2005 (76 years old)
  • Parents: Francis Elmer and Dorothy (Seals) Kelly
  • High School and Class: Grand Rapids High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • College: University of Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: SGT (Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    1946 1949 Japanese Occupation Forces
    September, 1950 July, 1951 Korean Conflict
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    Dan served in the Japanese Occupation Forces from 1946 to 1949 in the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division.

    He was recalled to active duty as a Sergeant with the 15th Combat Infantry Division during the Korean Conflict from September, 1950 to July, 1951.

  • Wars Involved:
    Japanese Occupation Forces
    Korean Conflict

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Daniel was raised in Cohasset, Minnesota and graduated from Grand Rapids High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

    Upon his return to the United States, he earned his bachelor of science and doctor of dental surgery degrees from the University of Minnesota. He practiced family dentistry for nearly 40 years in both Keewatin, Minnesota and Hibbing, Minnesota.

    Dr. Kelly served as mayor of Keewatin, Minnesota for more than 24 years. Active on a local, district and regional level with the Boy Scouts of America, he received the Silver Beaver Award in recognition of his volunteer service. He served as past president of Hibbing Rotary International in Hibbing, Minnesota and made two trips to Honduras on behalf of the organization to practice dentistry in rural villages. He was a past president of the League of Minnesota Cities; served on the Itasca County Historical Association; and was a member of the Keewatin Veterans of Foreign Wars and Keewatin American Legion in Keewatin, Minnesota.

    After retiring from his dental practice in 1999, he was employed by Spartan Transportation as a school bus driver. He served as a board member for Nashwauk-Keewatin School District #319 and was an active member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Keewatin, Minnesota.

    He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ettarae on June 21, 2003; a brother, Richard; and three sisters, Edith (Kelly) Roth, Ruth Kelly, and Rose (Kelly) Murphy.

    Dr. Kelly is survived by three sons, Daniel P., Roderick (Michele), and Patrick (KellyAnne Gallagher); daughter, Mary Kelly; five grandchildren; and a sister, Lenoir (Bill) LaDoux.

    Daniel died from complications from pneumonia while visiting at Alexandria, Virginia.

    Article from the Eastern Itascan, dated April 4, 2005:
    Daniel left for a European tour on March 17. Kelly's son, Patrick, a teacher at Wakefield High School in Alexandria, Virginia, arranged the Education First Tour for his students and their parents, and invited his father to join them. The elder Kelly became ill during the trip and was admitted to the hospital in Alexandria, where he later died, soon after returning to the United States.

    "Everything Mayor Kelly did, he did for the city," said Keewatin Public Utilities Clerk Audrey Svigel. "He was a very active member of the community."

    Kelly was first elected mayor in November, 1976, and served until resigning his office in 1998. In November, 2002, he was again elected to the mayor's office.

    A dentist by trade, he practiced dentistry for nearly 40 years in Keewatin and Hibbing, retiring in 1999. In March, 1997, he traveled to Honduras as part of Rotary International to give dental care to the natives, and made a second trip in February, 1998. In the March 6, 1997 Eastern Itascan, Kelly wrote in his column, Kelly's Keewatin Korner, "I am told there are 75 people already signed up with toothaches waiting for extractions. It's well over an hour drive over ruts to get there. I wish I had known there was so much need for just extractions. I will bring a lot of Novocain and two-by-two sponges next time....It's nothing to pull 1,000 teeth a day, I am told. I feel inadequate!"

    In the March 12, 1998 issue, he wrote, "At Mimi's Orphanage, I gave her the fifty dollars from some local (Keewatin) ladies who wanted to help the needy. Rest assured, all 43 kids in that orphanage are of school age. I felt they needed money for sewing supplies and for the toys the boys make. They just strike the deepest emotions in anybody who meets them"

    Kelly was also active in Boy Scouts, serving at the local, district and regional level.

    Kelly's son, Daniel, Jr., said that among the projects his father was proud of being a part of as Keewatin's mayor was working with the city council to create O'Brien Reservoir and Park. Kelly also said his father was very proud of Keewatin's designation as a Minnesota Star City. "He really worked hard on that," said Kelly, Jr.

    He had an opportunity to speak to his father about his trip before Kelly became ill. "He had a great trip," Kelly, Jr. stated. "He really enjoyed it."

    Buried in Wildwood Cemetery at Cohasset, Minnesota. (C-16)

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):