By Bruce Corcoran
Rest in peace, Jim Kelly; you will be missed.
For those of you who don’t know, Jim, with his wife, Sandy, ran the Lighting & Accent Gallery in Chatham for years. That’s how I met him.
Jim was a classic, old-school, straight shooter of a business owner. Great to chat with, very knowledgeable about pretty much anything in the store, and just a darned nice guy.
From replacement specialty bulbs to recessed lights to dimmer switches and everything in between, I did a fair bit of personal business with the Kellys. As you know, I believe in supporting local, but Jim and Sandy, along with their daughter Shannon, were such pleasant people to deal with.
The Kellys endured the fire that in early 2017 ravaged the building that housed the Lighting & Accent Gallery, Sacwal, and Ideal Decorating. They maintained their positive attitude as they temporarily shifted into the Nortown Plaza with the other two businesses.
When it was time to return to their location further up St. Clair Street, that’s when Jim and Sandy strolled off into retirement.
Unfortunately, Jim’s retirement years were just too short. After 43 years battling kidney disease, he passed away Tuesday.
It hasn’t been a great year in Chatham-Kent. I’ve written too many mentions of good people gone too soon in our municipality. I hope I’m done for now.
To Sandra, Shannon and the rest of the Kelly family, my condolences.