Dennis Kelly Obituary, Dennis Bernard Kelly: A Respected Educator and Beloved Family Man

Dennis Kelly Obituary, Death –Dennis Bernard Kelly, 69, of Topeka, passed away on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. He was born on May 3, 1954, in Lawrence, Kansas, to William T. Kelly and Davida F. (Jones) Thompson.

Dennis completed his education at Highland Park High School in 1972 and went on to earn his BSE in Elementary Education from the University of Kansas in 1976.

He furthered his academic pursuits by obtaining a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Emporia State University in 1991. Throughout his career, Dennis was a dedicated member of several esteemed organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity in education, and Topeka Alliance of Black School Educators.

As an educator, Dennis made a significant impact on the lives of his students. He began his teaching career at Rice Elementary School and later taught at Chase Middle School before finding his calling at Highland Park South Elementary School, which was later renamed Ross Elementary School.

In recognition of his dedication, Dennis received numerous accolades, including the Teachers Make a Difference Award in 1989 and the Teacher of Influence – Kansas Governor’s Scholar Program in 2019.

Dennis is survived by his siblings, Steven Kelly, David Kelly, Kim (Joe) Johnson, and Thomas (Myisha) Thompson, along with several nieces, nephews, and extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents, step-father Thomas J. Thompson, Sr., sister Davida J. Kelly, and uncle David Jones.

A visitation will be held from 6-8pm on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home in Topeka. Funeral services will take place at 11am on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at Love Fellowship, followed by interment at Mount Hope Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Topeka Alliance of Black School Educators. To share a memory or leave a special message for Dennis’ family, please use the Share Memories button above.