Memorial Spaceflights


Thomas G. Kelley

1945 - 2000

Thomas Gerard Kelley was born September 15, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois to Marie E. (Gilissen) and Thomas "Ray" Kelley. Marie was a registered nurse and Ray started and ran the first radio station in Richland County, Wisconsin (WRCO).

Tom grew up around the WRCO radio station and had a keen interest in electronics and radios. He received his Amateur Radio license (WA2KLZ) at the age of 13 and gained additional Federal Communications Commission licenses and ratings, including his First Class Radio license.

He was a graduate of Audubon High School (Class of '63) and was active in the Ham Radio Operators Club, Physics Club and National Honor Society. After high school he attended Drexel University and was a part of the cooperative program. He interned with Kodak in Rochester, New York while working on his engineering degree until he served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam conflict.

While serving in the Air Force, Tom graduated from the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio in Monterey, California. He was stationed in Taipei, Taiwan where he served as a Mandarin Chinese translator. While stationed in Taiwan, Tom married his wife Mei-Chin.

After returning to the states from Taiwan, Tom graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked for the Department of Defense Army branch at Fort Monmouth in Freehold, New Jersey for the majority of his career. Tom worked as a display systems engineer with the Electronic Technology Displays Laboratory (ETDL) and played a pivotal role in bringing flat panel displays to the forefront of computer technology. He retired in 1994.

He is survived by his wife, Mei-Chin of Las Vegas, Nevada; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Michael R. of Las Vegas, Nevada and David E. and Sandra L. of Williamstown, New Jersey; one brother and sister-in-law, Chris Kelley and Gary Gunderman of Delaware, Ohio; and a niece and nephew Shawn Kelley of San Clemente, California and Pandora Whitman of Audubon, New Jersey. His father preceded him in death in 1986. Tom also leaves behind many friends and ex-coworkers who shared his passion for technology and who will miss their intellectual discussions.

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