Kelly Memorial Scholarship Established

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Melvin & Audrey Kelly

The Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains is pleased to announce the recent formation of the Audrey R. & J. Melvin Kelly Memorial Scholarship to provide educational tuition assistance to students from Susquehanna County. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly raised a family of five children and both practiced law locally, a family tradition that continues to this day. J. Melvin Kelly was born in 1905 the only child of Attorney John M. Kelly and Bessie Melvin Kelly. Audrey Kelly was born in Broome County in 1914, and was raised in Susquehanna Depot by her parents Freemont Roberts and Catherine Shanley Roberts.

For many years Melvin served as President of the Susquehanna County Bar Association. Audrey, despite never having attended college, studied for the entrance examination for Cornell University Law School at her husband’s encouragement and joined the class of 1948. In 1949 she was admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and became a partner with her husband in the firm of Kelly & Kelly Attorneys at Law, a firm that continues in Montrose to this day.

In 1963 Governor Scranton selected Audrey to serve as the Commonwealth’s Insurance Commissioner. She was the first woman in the history of the United States to be a State Insurance Commissioner. In 1976 the Montrose Business and Professional Women’s Club recognized Audrey as Woman of the Year and described her as a “woman who could not wait for Women’s Liberation” to occur. Her career inspired subsequent generations to live to their full potential. Melvin’s support of Audrey’s success was unconditional and enduring as was his devotion to his family and their success. Having been together since 1931 Audrey and Melvin both passed away, within ten weeks of each other, in 1987.

Their permanent memorial scholarship will be available to all graduating High School seniors in Susquehanna County who will matriculate at college or a post-secondary degree program. It is hoped this assistance will provide local students a greater opportunity for employment and provide them an incentive to also someday give back to their local communities. Donations to honor the legacies of Mr. & Mrs. Kelly, and to help support future generations of local students, can be sent to The Community Foundation at 270 Lake Avenue, Montrose, PA 18801 or can be made online at

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