William N. Kelley, long time resident of New Haven, Missouri, a Kellwood Company executive and area banker, passed away in his home after a long illness on December 17, 2012. He was 94. Born in St. Louis on November 27, 1918 to George L. and Martha Warren Kelley, he was raised in Webster Groves and attended Webster Groves High School. In 1940, he graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and in 1942 married Mary Helen Ramsay, also of Webster Groves. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past June.
After college “Bill” joined Monsanto Chemical Company and during WWII was involved in manufacturing critical military products for the war effort. He soon joined the Wenzel Tent and Duck Co., in St. Louis.
He moved to New Haven, Missouri in 1951 to establish a new factory for Wenzel, Hawthorn Finishing Company. American Waterproofing Company was acquired and he served as President of both. In 1961 Hawthorn joined 15 companies, all suppliers to Sears, to form Kellwood Company, a major manufacturer of apparel and recreational products.
He was President of the Recreational Products Division and Executive Vice President at Kellwood. In 1964, he became a Director of Citizens Bank of New Haven and served as Chairman of the Board from 1979 to 1995. At the time of his death he was still active with the bank as Director Emeritus.