As I am sure everyone knows by now, we lost a genuinely great man this week, Lee Kelly. I had the good fortune to work with Lee for over 30 years, working in conjunction with his radio and TV programs, more specifically TV, as we worked closely in the early years to get the program up and running and operating.
Like so many people he touched, I have scores of stories I could tell, but will hold to a couple.
Lee did real estate for a few years, and fortunately for my wife and I, he helped us locate our ideal home. He also took it one step further in that we were limited in finances at the time. In his inimitable way, he privately talked with the seller, convincing them to pay the closing costs, allowing us to purchase our home. Only later did we learn this.
The second story is that I got to see firsthand his love for the school corporation and his students. Lee did have a temper, but it was a good one, always protective of his “family.” Both instances occurred when our corporation was facing a referendum, that was loudly condemned by the community. At a local meeting, some mistruths were stated, which were vocally denounced by Lee. In addition, one local TV station was focusing a camera on one of his students covering the meeting. Refusing to allow his student to be harassed, and that is what was occurring, he rapidly placed himself between the camera and the student.
I never saw a more loving teacher than Lee. His relationship with all his students was a lesson that we should hope to follow. And of course, his passion for sports was undeniable. I have got to believe that every person who ever played sports for New Albany High School were forever touched by his interest in their careers and life.
My heart goes out to his family, who were always first and foremost in his heart. Lee, you will truly be missed. To use the latest sports terminology, you were the G.O.A.T., the Greatest Of All Time.
Bob Zipp, New Albany