John James Kelley, 77, SSA claims examiner

October 04, 2003

John James Kelley, a retired attorney who had worked for 20 years as a disability claims examiner at the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn, died Thursday of chronic obstructive pulmonary dysfunction at FutureCare Old Court in Randallstown. He was 77.

Mr. Kelley was born in Baltimore and raised at the German Orphan Asylum, now the German Children's Home, in Catonsville.

"He was one of four children, and after his father's death during the Depression, his mother had to place him in the orphan's home," said his wife of 47 years, the former Marthetta Brigstocke.

He was a 1941 graduate of Catonsville High School and earned his bachelor's degree and law degree in 1959 from the University of Baltimore.

During World War II, Mr. Kelley served as a Navy electrician aboard the USS Tench, a submarine, in the Pacific. He was a member of the Delmarva chapter of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II.

Until retiring in 1979, Mr. Kelley was a disability claims examiner at SSA's Woodlawn headquarters for 20 years.

Mr. Kelley was an accomplished mason who completed walls and other projects around his property with stone he removed from an old quarry on the grounds of his Granite home. He also built a pond on his property, which he later stocked with bluegills and small bass. He enjoyed building toys in his workshop for his grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Granite Presbyterian Church, 10637 Old Court Road.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Kelley is survived by a son, J. Paul Kelley of Granite; two daughters, Adrienne P. Schiner of Glenelg and Denise Leicester of Carollton, Va.; and eight grandchildren.

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