Cover photo for L. Patrick Kelley's Obituary
L. Patrick Kelley Profile Photo
1945 L. 2024

L. Patrick Kelley

April 8, 1945 — February 9, 2024

L. Patrick “Pat” Kelley, a longtime resident of Gresham, Oregon, passed away Friday, February 9, 2024, at a Portland area hospital following a planned heart surgery. He was 79 years old. Pat was born to Edward and Leona Kelley of Hubbard, Oregon. He graduated from Lake Oswego High (Class of 1963).

Pat will be remembered for his unwavering dedication to service, both in his military and civilian life, as well as his deep love for his family and community.

His lifelong passion for the sea led him to join the Sea Explorers (now known as Sea Scouts) at the young age of 15. Just days after his 18th birthday, Pat received the esteemed Sea Explorer Quartermaster Award. After high school graduation, Pat enlisted in the US Navy, proudly serving as Quartermaster (First Class) on Diesel-electric and nuclear submarines of the US Naval Fleet during the Vietnam conflict from 1964 to 1968. After his separation from active duty with the US Navy, Pat continued his service to the country by joining the US Naval Reserve, attaining rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3 and qualified as Officer in Charge on 36’ LCVP and 64’ DB(L)-2. In 1979, he accepted a commission as a Lieutenant (junior grade) in the US Coast Guard Reserve. Pat served two tours as Executive Officer of reserve units and one tour as Commanding Officer of US Coast Guard Reserve Unit Kennewick (Washington). During his Coast Guard Reserve service, he qualified as Underway Officer of the deck on 133’ coastal buoy tender (WHITE BUSH, WLM-542) and 180’ seagoing buoy tender (IRIS, WLB-395). Pat went into inactive reserve status with the US Coast Guard Reserve in 1995 and retired as a Lieutenant Commander.

In 1967, Pat married his beloved Christine (Ferland) in Portland, OR, embarking on a partnership that lasted 56 years. The following year,  he began his career as a police officer for the City of Portland. He was promoted to detective in 1973 and served in the Burglary and Fraud details. He was a dedicated officer and served for nearly three decades, retiring from the Portland Police Bureau in 1995. Having earned more than 20 commendations for superior performance during his career from Bureau Chiefs, the Mayor, and other police agencies, including a Distinguished Service Medal for his lengthy and impressive career, bestowed upon him by Chief of Police, Charles A. Moose, highlighting a particular investigation in which Detective Kelley combined over 80 fraud cases resulting in arrest and incarceration of the “King of Cons,” Skillful Davis.

His dedication to justice and public safety extended beyond his retirement, further exemplifying his commitment to serving his community. Pat enjoyed being of service and continued working for many years. He held employment as an Investigator, working for the Oregon Racing Commission, he joined the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department as a Deputy Sheriff. He served as a Resource Protection Officer for the Oregon Military Department, Oregon Air National Guard Base. He completed Federal Marshals Training and worked to provide security for the Federal Courthouse - Portland, and provided security for the Portland City Hall as well as providing protection for Portland's then Mayor, Sam Adams. One of his favorite jobs was serving as Mate/First Officer aboard the “Columbia Gorge” Sternwheeler.

A lifelong learner, Pat always had a book (or two) close at hand. Having attended Mt. Hood Community College while his children were still babies, he decided to return to school at the age of 54 and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management in 2002. A true master craftsman, Pat's talents extended to wood craftsmanship. He took great pride in sailing his 14’ sailing skiff - made with his own hands - a testament to his love for the sea. However, nothing expressed his passion for sailing more than his over 60 year involvement with the Sea Scouts program. Pat was a youth member in Sea Scouts. As soon as he returned stateside from his active duty service he reported for volunteer duty with the Columbia Pacific Council Sea Scout program. Pat was an active volunteer with the Council for the rest of his life. During his service he was presented with the distinguished Silver Beaver Award from the Heart of America Council for his exemplary service over the decades as Member, Cascade Pacific Council Executive Board, commander of programming, 10 years as Assistant Advisor, 13 years as Skipper of the Sea Scout Ship (SSS) “City of Roses” (1973-86), and 10 years as Cascade Pacific Council Commodore (1984-94). The young people who worked closely with him would say his most important rank was that of a devoted father figure and unwavering mentor for thousands of Portland’s youth.

In the early 1970’s, Pat and Christine welcomed their daughters, Katherine and Colleen. Pat was a devoted father and husband. Instilling in his girls a strong sense of morals and values - leading by example from his many years in service to others and always there for them as a source of strength. Pat also cherished spending time with his grandchildren - his namesake grandson, Patrick and his beautiful and feisty granddaughter, Irene. As a proud and loving grandpa, he doted on his grandkids and attended their sporting events with immense pride.

In addition to his nautical pursuits, Pat was a proud member of several beloved entities, such as, US Submarine Veterans, the US Naval Institute, US Navy League - Portland Council, Military Reserve Officers Association, Retired Military Officers Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars (Portland Police Post), and the American Legion Oregon Trail Post 150.

Pat was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Leona (Kobie) Kelley, his brothers Edward and Joe. He is survived by his loving wife, Christine (Ferland) Kelley; his devoted daughters, Katherine Kelley, Colleen St. Mary (Stacie Rasmussen); his cherished grandchildren, Patrick and Irene St. Mary; as well as brothers in-law, John (Sandra) Ferland, Randy (Mary) Ferland, Doug (Judi) Ferland, Ron (Carla) Ferland; Numerous nieces and nephews; And, countless Sea Scouts that looked up to and revered him like a dad. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

A graveside service honoring Pat's life and service, with military and police honors, will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at Springwater Cemetery. Following the service, a gathering of friends and family will take place at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas, Oregon, to celebrate Pat's remarkable life and legacy. We ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in memory of Pat to the organizations that he supported, The Oregon Special Olympics and the Alzheimer’s Association.


"We sail on, guided by the stars you taught us to follow. Fair winds and following seas, Mr. Kelley."

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

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