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It was with great sadness last week we learned of the sudden passing of Shallotte Mayor Donald C. “Buddy” Kelly.
Kelly, who died following an illness, was a selfless and tireless community servant.
He earned the respect of all who knew him by being a conscientious listener. He was observant and respected other people’s opinions. When he spoke, those who knew and worked with him knew he was being thoughtful and had well evaluated information before sharing his opinion.
Although Kelly served the town in its lead position, he was not a man for the spotlight. He quietly showed up at community events, spreading congratulations and sincere well wishes for others who were doing great things.
He served as a role model and mentor for many. He frequently encouraged others to use their talents and pursue their ambitions.
Kelly’s life was about service to others and service to this town he loved dearly. He was a tireless community volunteer tackling projects such as serving meals to those in need through the Meals on Wheels program. He was also a devoted and loving family man and a true champion for the town of Shallotte.
In his years in this community, the Ash native and U.S. Army veteran served as mayor, a town alderman, was on the planning board and represented Shallotte with the Cape Fear Council of Governments.
He was a shining example of a good man and devoted community member. Kelly’s loss is already felt throughout the town.
May his legacy live on in the lives he touched and may the town of Shallotte move forward in a way that will keep his memory alive and honor his many contributions to this community.