Sean Kelly died in Auckland from a totally unexpected health event on 26 August 2018 at the age of 62.
He had established a very successful sole practice in Mount Eden which he had operated for 32 years. During that time he had established a very loyal client base. He also provided legal services to clients well beyond the Auckland metropolitan area.
To the mild amusement of some of his professional colleagues he was always promising to engage legal staff to assist him with his work. However, he simply never got around to doing so. He clearly preferred the “hands on” approach to the practice of law, whereby he provided personal service direct to clients. That obviously proved to be a successful formula for his business.
Outside of work and family, Sean’s main interest was golf. He was a very capable golfer having played off a single figure handicap for many years at Maungakiekie Golf Club. He was also a keen participant in the annual legal golf tournament held in Palmerston North in September each year known as the Devil’s Own. He looked forward to that event with great enthusiasm. It seemed inevitable that he would eventually win the tournament and became very close to doing so. However, he never achieved that goal.
His funeral was held on 1 September 2018 at the Mother of Perpetual Help Church, Glendowie. Those in attendance included many clients and other participants in the Devil’s Own. The latter wore the tournament tie as a mark of respect. The writer was invited to speak at the funeral on Sean’s involvement with that event.
The best way to describe Sean is that he was dedicated – to his family, his profession and to the game that he loved.
Sean is survived by his wife Liz, who helped in the practice for many years, and his children Kate, Michael and Richard who have all gone on to achieve outstanding success in their careers.