Gaylen B. Kelley

August 18, 1930 ~ February 3, 2021 (age 90)

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Dr. Gaylen B. Kelley, 90, of Middleton passed away peacefully at home on February 3, 2021 due to complications from Covid-19, with his family and wife Glenice by his side. 

Gaylen was born on August 18, 1930. He was born and raised in Caribou, Maine where he met the love of his life, Glenice (Espling) when he was playing trumpet in the New Sweden town band.  They were married in the New Sweden Covenant Church on Christmas Eve, 1954 and celebrated 66 happy years of marriage.

Gaylen served in the Army as a medical aid instructor at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas where they welcomed their son Glen into the world while they lived in San Antonio. After transferring to the Army Reserves in Maine, they lived briefly in New Sweden where son Jon was born. Gaylen commuted back and forth to the University of Maine in Orono to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Education while Glenice raised their two boys with family support.

After graduating from the University of Maine, Gaylen received a full scholarship to Boston University to further his education.  He earned his Master’s degree and Doctorate degrees at BU.  The family settled in Woburn, where they welcomed their daughter Lisa. They later moved to Lynnfield and then after 44 years, to Middleton. Gaylen began his teaching career at BU in 1959 and was Chairman of the Educational Media and Technology department. He retired after 40 years of service to the University. In 2002, his legacy at the School of Education was recognized by the dedication of the Gaylen Kelley Distance Education Laboratory in the School of Education Building.

Gaylen and Glenice loved spending many summers taking the family camping across the country in the red Barracuda convertible that he gave to Glenice for Mother’s Day! There were memorable trips to Alaska and several trips across Canada to the Rockies.  We have a fond memory of him chasing a bear away from stealing food from a neighboring campsite.  He loved to read and spend time with his family.  His absolute favorite place to be was at the family cottage on Madawaska Lake in Stockholm Maine.  He was delighted when Glen, Jon and Lisa would bring their families to the lake for summer vacations and enjoyed watching all of them swimming, boating, enjoying the sunsets, and playing card and board games together. He would use his grandchildren as an excuse to go to Anderson’s store for doughnuts, pies and other treats.

Gaylen was known for his bear hugs, calling everyone ‘dear’ and for being loving and kind.  He is survived by his wife, Glenice, sons Glen (Leslie) and Jon (Laura) and daughter Lisa Nahatis. He was pre-deceased by his son in-law Alexander Nahatis.  He is also survived by his sister Zelma Merritt, sisters-in-law Karen (John) Erickson and Helen Espling and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his grandchildren Bethany Belmonte, Alison Heiden, Aidan Kelley, Erin Kelley, Meaghan Kelley and Katharine Nahatis and great-grandchildren Lucy, Mabel, Abraham and Summer.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to any of the following organizations:

New Sweden Covenant Church, 40 Westmanland Rd. New Sweden, ME 04762

Middleton Stream Team, PO Box 333 Middleton, MA 01949

Marsh Chapel, Boston University, 735 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Attn: Leiomyosarcoma Research Program, PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 (please make checks payable to Dana-Farber Cancer Institue and include ‘in memory of Glenice Kelley and Gaylen Kelley’ in the memo section). You may also donate online at: ( see the Link below )

Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923

Services to be held at a later date -

To send flowers to Gaylen's family, please visit our floral store.


Services are to be announced


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Attn: Leiomyosarcoma Research Program

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