Cornelius Edward Kiely IV passed away unexpectedly on February 3, 2024.
‘Neil’ was born on March 20th, 1951, in Newton, MA, and was the son of Edward and Esther Kiely.
Neil attended Classical High School before attending Northfield Mount Hermon, where he met the love of his life, Laurie Reich -- his wife of nearly 50 years. Following NMH, Neil attended Brown University, where he was President of the Sigma Chi fraternity and a member of the men’s football team.
Neil held a variety of professional roles, his fondest probably being both his first and last. As a young Ranger for the Cape Cod National Seashore, he developed a love affair with life ‘down on the cape.’ The Cape was a place where Neil felt most at home among family, nature, traditions, and ‘good times.’ Most recently, his role as the Director of Institutional Advancement at St. Luke’s School combined his talent of creating community with his love of building relationships with students, staff and parents.
Reunions were especially important to Neil, and his dedication to his Alma Maters earned him recognition and Alumni Service Awards at both NMH and Brown. Whether a family reunion, a class reunion, or a reunion among friends, Neil found great joy in bringing people together to preserve and celebrate the bonds of friendship. He especially loved the annual excursions with the “Merry Band of Wanderers,” his NMH classmates who have remained friends for over 50 years. Neil was a passionate volunteer and served on the Bristol 4th of July Committee and as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary’s in Bristol. In addition, he helped lead a local Suicide Survivors Support group and was a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 26 years, where he offered mentorship and support for those suffering addiction in their lives.
Neil’s personality filled the room. He cared deeply about connecting with people on a meaningful level and was quick to offer friendship and empathy to anyone he met. His optimism, faith, and gratitude were an inspiration to all who knew him. Neil’s compassion and love were often shared through his letters of congratulations, condolence, appreciation, or encouragement.
Neil loved football, reading, grilling, yardwork, boat rides to the outer beaches in Chatham on the Cape and most important of all, his family. A proud grandfather to his 5 grandchildren, Madeline, Camden, Spencer, Taylor and Griffin – An endless amount of laughter and love was always present when he was around. He leaves behind his beloved wife Laurie, sons Stuart, Patrick and predeceased son, Ross; his daughters-in-law Michea and Adare; his sisters Karen Bartlett (Phil), Kathy Seifert, his predeceased sister Kimberly, a large extended family and a countless number of friends. Creating friendships was Neil’s life work.
Over his 72 years, Neil lived a life grounded strongly in faith, with love for others, treating people the way he wanted to be treated, and an unbelievable Irish sense of humor. He simply wanted to be remembered as a ‘Good Man.’
A funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Parish, 330 Wood Street, Bristol, RI 02809, at 11 am on Friday, February 9th, with a reception following immediately after. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Luke’s School in memory of Neil Kiely, a beloved member of the St. Luke’s community. 10 Waldron Ave, Barrington, RI 02806. The service will be live-streamed on St. Mary's Facebook Page