In the Easy Chair with Dan Kelley

In the Easy Chair with Dan Kelley

AGE: 54, or old enough to get my AARP card and use it for a free donut at Dunkin’ or old enough to now need reading glasses.

OCCUPATION: Correctional officer.

RESIDENCE:  Pawcatuck.

BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Groton City until 2005, when my wife, Pam, dragged me kicking and screaming to Pawcatuck to live closer to her family, Groton was too far for them.

RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Working with great people to make Mystic Middle School even better than it already is in my capacity as PTO president.

FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME: At my fire pit with my Pawcatuck neighbors or sitting on a beach cottage deck solving world’s problems during the summer .. we haven’t had much success but it is fun trying.

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: My awesome 12-plus-year-old son, RJ. (I refuse to call him a teenager.)

I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Giving back and for being a good husband, father, son and friend.

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: Waiting for my wife and son to tell me where they want to go next.

ALWAYS IN MY POCKET: My cellphone … if it isn’t in my hand it is in my pocket.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP:   National Park ranger, love the hat.

PERSON WHO HAS MOST INFLUENCED ME: Groton City Mayor Catherine Kolnaski, who served our country and town her whole life.

EXPERIENCE THAT HAS MOST INFLUENCED ME: Traveling this great country with my family.


I AM READING: Three newspapers a day.

I AM LISTENING TO: Will Evans on Pandora or Lee Elci on radio station 94.9

FAVORITE MOVIE: “Rudy” or “Hoosiers” … they show how hard work pays off.


FAVORITE PET: My one and only dog, Angel.  My mother wouldn’t let us get a dog and now my wife won’t let us have one.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Chicken cordon bleu or Ma Deary’s meatballs.

AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Enough time to keep up with family and friends, or as my wife says, “way, way too much.”

TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE: When people do anything and everything for their families.

PET PEEVE: When people don’t push their chairs in when they get up from the table.

FAVORITE QUOTATION: Do the right things for the right reasons.



LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I was the UConn homecoming king in 1985.

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: Always finish what you start and, worrying about something doesn’t affect or change the outcome.  

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE:  Be a good person.

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: End racism, sexism and class disparity.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: I would give some to Fr. Perkins so he can finish rebuilding St. Michael Church, some to Pastor Ray Jones to put a new roof on Lighthouse Community Baptist Church, some to the Pawcatuck Little League so they can make a great complex better, and some to North Stonington Little League so they can build their fields of dreams.

I DRIVE A: Red 2017 Toyota Sienna from Illinois, because our 2010 Sienna broke down last summer on our way to Colorado.

I WISH I DROVE A: Dodge Ram Pickup truck.


IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE: My father, Jack Kelley, who passed away in 1993. He showed me by example what it means to give back.  Also my father- in-law, Bob Deary, who passed away in 1992. He raised such a wonderful woman who I am proud to call my wife.

— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro


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