Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Sad Discovery

Now that we’ve met each of Patrick and Emma Carle Kelly’s children—Frederick, Kathryn, John, Emmet, Stephen, Helen, Marie and Mildred—I need just a couple more posts to bring the story of this family to a close.

Though blessed with eight children—seven of whom enjoyed success and long life—Patrick, himself, faced a sudden end. He had been serving as “watchman”—later designated, in some reports, as engineer—for the Number Three Pumping Station, part of the Fort Wayne Water Works, a one mile walk from his home. It was a regular job that Patrick held on to for thirty years—about as long as he and Emma had been married.

The report in The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette mentioned that he had been sick for the past few days, but it wasn’t much to be concerned about. He had felt well enough to return to work the next Monday. Apparently alone at the time of his death, his body was discovered by another employee at midday.

The newspaper gave the supposed cause of death as apoplexy. While we know that term as synonymous with stroke, I still keep my online List of Archaic Medical Terms close at hand to confirm.

Patrick’s passing must indeed have been sudden, given the time frame in the report—and yet, it must have made family wonder how different the outcome might have been, had someone else been there to offer him help. Families always wonder about such “what ifs” when that “expected” moment we all know we must face comes about so unexpectedly.
            Funeral services for Patrick T. Kelly, aged 61, who died suddenly Monday noon of apoplexy while at work at No. 3 pumping station, Broadway and Rudisill Boulevard, will be held Thursday morning at 8:30 o'clock at the home, 831 Huestis Avenue, and at 9 o'clock at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. The Right Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Delaney will officiate. Burial in the Catholic Cemetery.
            Mr. Kelly had been an employe of the city waterworks department for the last 30 years and was stationary engineer at station No. 3. His body was discovered at the station by Louis Nickerson, 13091/2 St. Mary's Avenue. Dr. E. A. King, deputy county coroner, investigated the death.
            Mr. Kelly had gone back to work Monday after having been ill at home for two days. He had not been seriously ill and felt well enough to return to work. He was born and reared in Fort Wayne and educated in St. Patrick's Catholic School. He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, the Holy Name Society of that church; Division No. 1, Ancient Order Hibernians, and C. B. L. of I.
            Surviving are the wife, Emma; four daughters, the Misses Catherine, Helen, Marie and Mildred, all of this city; three sons, Frederick, of Detroit, Mich.; Emmett, of Chicago, Ill., and Stephen, at home; a sister, Mrs. Mary Phillips, of this city, and five grandchildren. The body was taken to the Getz & Cahill Funeral Parlors and will be returned to the home late today.


  1. I hope his "end" was quick. Perhaps it was merciful this way.

    I was at work once when an older (about 60 year old) co-worker next to me had a stroke. He was operating an air-powered chisel and he suddenly grabbed his arm, put the chisel down, looked up vacantly, and ignored me when I asked, "Are you okay?" and slowly walked into the nearby men's room and sat in a stall. Concerned, and thinking he was bleeding from the chisel, I followed him in to the men's room and found him "passed out". The ambulance was there within 5 minutes and he was off to the nearby hospital. He never came back to work but lived for another half dozen or more years. Thinking about the old term, "apoplexy," it does fit what I saw (not "rage" but "paralysis").

    1. It does feel strange when these things happen right in front of you, doesn't it? We always expect life to go about its normal way, forgetting that this is part of normal life.

      There is a TED talk by researcher Jill Bolte Taylor, describing her own experience of having a stroke. She also wrote a book on the same subject, called My Stroke of Insight.

  2. Sad he was al alone to die at work. never can tell when our time is up:)

    1. You are so right, Far Side! I can really feel for his family. I'm sure there were lots of questions.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...