Gilbert Frank Kelly

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, June 4, 2015

Gilbert Frank Kelly was born August 23, 1922 to Frank and Rose (Brunswick) Kelnhoffer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gil served his country in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII. As a pilot of the B32 he flew missions over the Atlantic Ocean coast searching for German submarines. He served from 1942-45. Gil married Binnie Bittel on June 2, 1972 at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Rocky River, Ohio. They were blessed to celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary the day before Gil’s passing. Gil was a banker, specializing in automobile finance in Cleveland, Ohio. Gil and Binnie lived in the Lake Lure community since 2004. Gil was a faithful member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Tryon since 2005.

While a Badger when it came to college football and basketball, Gil was an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears. Because his father worked for the railroad (Milwaukee Railroad for almost 50 years), Gil was able to hop the train to Chicago where he attended many a ballgame.

Gil is survived by Binnie Kelly, his wife of 43 years, and son William J. Kelly and wife Diane, two grandchildren, Amanda Parks and Todd (Jennifer) Kelly, great-grandchildren Tyler, Ashley and Calvin, and dear family friends, Paul Galletti and Terry Sullivan. Gil was preceded in death by his son Robert M. Kelly and his daughter Debrah Ann Kelly, one brother Buddy and a sister Mercedes.

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Gil fell asleep in Jesus on Wednesday morning at White Oak Manor, Tryon, N.C.

A funeral service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Tryon, N.C. on Saturday, June 6, at 11 a.m. with visitation the hour prior.

Burial will be in Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain.

An online guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel
Tryon, NC