Kelly was admitted as a partner to the firm in 1955. At that time, the firm name was Blethen, Ogle and Gage. It wasn’t until 1975, when Arthur Ogle died, that the firm became Blethen, Gage and Krause, its current name.
Kelly retired as a partner in January 1991. He continued to work for the firm as an attorney through December 2001, which marked the 50th anniversary of his bar admission. While at the firm, Kelly was a general practitioner but tried many major litigation cases. Kelly was noted for his extreme intelligence, his almost photographic memory, and his innate sense of fairness, all of which served him very well in his years of legal practice. Kelly continued to remain active in the legal arena by volunteering at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services.
Kelly believed in community. He was a member of the Mankato School Board from 1957-1966 and the Minnesota State Colleges Board from 1960-1964. He was also elected and served in the Minnesota Senate from 1966-1972. He served as President of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He was a former president of the Minnesota Jaycees. Up until the time of his death, Kelly was a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club.
Kelly and his wife, Dorothy, have been dear friends to all past and present employees and partners of Blethen, Gage and Krause. Kelly was an outstanding leader and was a flagship of the firm. His excellence, guidance and contributions helped make the firm what it is today…..121 years strong.