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Former State’s Attorney Passes Away

September 15th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Lawrence V. Kelly, 73, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. At the time of his death, he resided in LaVale. He had previously resided in Frostburg and Keyser, W.Va. He practiced law in Allegany County for 31 years prior to his retirement in 2002.

He was a graduate of Gettysburg College (1966) and the University of Maryland School of Law (1970.) He attended law school at night while serving as a law clerk to Judges of The Supreme Bench (Circuit Court) of Baltimore City. In 1972, he was appointed Deputy State's Attorney for Allegany County. He was appointed State's Attorney and first elected to that position in 1974. He was 29 years old, making him one of the youngest State's Attorneys in Maryland. He was both honored and humbled by the confidence shown by the electorate in re-electing him in 1990, 1994, and 1998, making him the longest serving State's Attorney in Allegany County, and among the longest serving in the State of Maryland. He always tried to take the position seriously, but not himself. Between 1981 and 1990, Larry was proud to have been the partner of R. Steven Friend in the private practice of law.

He was a member of the Allegany County Bar Assn. (President), Maryland State's Attorney Assn. (Secretary and President), National District Attorney's Assn. (member Board of Directors, Co-Chair Standard and Goals Committee), Maryland State Bar Assn. (members and Board member of Criminal Law Section and Ethics Committee), and the American Bar Assn. (Member Criminal Law Section.)

He was active in the political and public service life of the County, serving as chair of the fund raising efforts of many organizations. He was chair of the Frostburg Civil Service Commission for 19 years and member-gardener for the Allegany County Historical Assn. (2 years as President.) He believed in giving back to the community which had been so kind to him and his family. He appreciated the friends he made in the community at large and law enforcement, in particular.

Among his accomplishments as State's Attorney of which he was especially proud was his vigorous prosecution of those who victimized children and the elderly in particular (and any victim whose vulnerability had led to the crimes against them.) Larry regarded his part in the founding of the C3I Unit as his lasting contribution to the welfare of the people of Allegany County. He assigned his friends and county investigators, John McGowan and Charles Hinnant as the operations supervisors. The Unit and its personnel meant so much to him. He was present for the county investigator Jon Dudiak's swearing in two days after being in intensive care. He had attended the swearing in of the first three supervisors of C3I.

At this request, Larry will be cremated and his ashes made a part of the land he loved and cultivated.

Friends will be received at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Monday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. A memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. with the Rt. Rev. Carl Wright, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either the Allegany Co. Historical Society (218 Washington St., Cumberland, MD 21502); Allegany Museum (3 Pershing St., Cumberland, MD 21502); Gilchrist Gallery (104 Washington St., Cumberland, MD 21502); or to the Allegany County Animal Shelter (P.O. Box 566, Cumberland, MD 21501-0566)

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