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Jeffry F. Kelleher

Obituary for Jeffry F. Kelleher

August 17, 1946 - July 19, 2018
Cleveland, Ohio | Age 71


Jeffry F. Kelleher, age 71. Beloved husband of Jillian Davis. Dear father of Jeffry, Nicholas (Adele), Nathaniel, Michael and Katherine. Proud grandfather of Harry. Brother of Jessica Roman and Brian. Passed away Thursday July 19, 2018. Memorials may be made in Jeff's name to Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, 1223 W. 6th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113, or Planned Parenthood, 25350 Rockside Road, Suite 300, Bedford Hts. OH 44146. Family will receive friends at Toast Cleveland, 1365 W. 65th Street, Cleveland, OH from 4-7pm Friday, July 27. A memorial service will be held on Saturday August 4 at 12:00pm at 78th Street Studios, 1300 W. 78th Street, Cleveland, OH. Cremation by Busch Crematory. 440-842-7800

Jeff was born in Waltham, MA on August 17, 1946. Jeff grew up in Pound Ridge, NY and Jeff graduated from Fox Lane HS in nearby Bedford, NY in 1964. Jeff bucked the family tradition of attending eastern colleges and after graduation he ventured West to Ohio where he attended Kenyon College.

Jeff was lured to Cleveland to attend Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, from which he graduated with his JD in 1975. Jeff was in private practice since 1976, and he devoted his entire career to criminal defense. As an attorney, Jeff fought tirelessly for the underdog. He never gave up and he never took the easy way out. As his colleague Roger Synenberg said of Jeff, "There was no better friend to the unloved and unwanted." In addition to the smaller everyday victories, one of the proudest days of his life was in 2010 when he walked his client Joe d'Ambrosio off of death row.

Jeff had five wonderful kids that he was immeasurably proud of. He married Carol Myers in 1970 and had three sons, Jeffry, Nicholas and Nathaniel. The marriage ended in divorce and Jeff married Donna Gardner in 1988, and they had Michael and Katie before they divorced. On May 4, 2018, the same day Jeff was told he was at the end of his treatment possibilities, Nicholas and his wife Adele welcomed the first-born of the next generation of Kellehers, Harry Alfred, and Jeff was so happy to have been able to meet Harry and spend time with him before his death.

In 2002, Jeff met his wife Jill. In 2003, Jeff made his first trip to Europe with Jill, landing in Tuscany, and was bitten by the travel bug. He put his new passport to maximum use, and the two had adventures across Europe, Mexico and Canada, with friends and by themselves, enjoying food, wine, and friendship. Jeff shared Jill's love of their home, gardening, art, cooking, wine, entertaining, nature, travel, justice – pretty much everything. The married in 2010 underneath a giant redwood in Cathedral Grove at Muir Woods, surrounded by friends, in a part of the world they both loved.

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7501 Ridge Road
Parma, OH 44129
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