Michael Kelly

Michael Stokely Kelly, 52, professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work, died on September 2, 2021. Born on Oct. 25, 1968 in Chicago, he moved to Oak Park at age 4, where he attended Hawthorne and Holmes. At Oak Park and River Forest High School, he wrote for the newspaper, acted in several plays, and served as junior class president. The highlight of his high school years was directing Bleacher Bums in the Little Theater, casting several students who had never acted before.

He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1991 and later earned his Master in Social Work degree at the University of Illinois Chicago. He was a family therapist, a youth minister at St. Giles Family Mass, and served for 14 years as a school social worker, first at Indian Trail Middle School in Addison, and later Mann and Lincoln elementary schools in Oak Park.

He earned his PhD in Social Work from the University of Illinois Chicago in 2006 and joined the faculty at Loyola. He authored or edited several books, one of which was recently translated into Japanese, and published over 100 articles in his field. A fellow of the Oxford University Symposium for School-Based Family Counseling, he edited the School Mental Health Journal and the International Journal of School Social Work. In 2020, he was named the Lucian Welch and Carol Matusak Endowed Chair at Loyola University. A much-loved teacher, he mentored hundreds of school social workers across the U.S. and Canada.

An avid runner, he completed 18 marathons, including in Chicago, Rome, and Ireland.

Michael is survived by his wife, Lucy Fox; their three sons, Benjamin, Isaac and Alfred; his mother, Karen Kelly; his brother-in-law, Daniel (Susan) Fox; his in-laws, Win and Alan Fox; and countless relatives and friends. His father, Richard Kelly, died in 2010.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide (afsp.org).

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