John E. Kelly has been referred to as the vacationing police officer from Richmond, Va.
In Skaneateles, he is known as Doc (Ted) and Sheila Kelly's youngest, vice president of the Skaneateles' class of 1994 and just an all-around great guy.
He was the kind of man that parents hope to create when they move to a community, such as Skaneateles.
He was bright, kind and gregarious -- his goodness was bone-deep. He did have a wildside, which was tamed and channeled in his police work.
John was vacationing at his parent's home with his girlfriend, Heather Danielle Wilkins, a native of Northumberland County in Virginia's Northern Neck.
David "Hobe" Abbott of Skaneateles was notably shocked as he spoke of his lifelong friend. He said John, who has several siblings, spent a lot of time with family, it was very important to him. David and John met as babies as their mothers had been pregnant together -- Lucinda "Cindy" Abbott and Sheila McCarthy.
David loved growing up in Skaneateles and he said they (he, Mark Allyn -- another good friend -- and John Kelly) did as well, and knew they were very fortunate.
"He was the best kid on the planet," David said. "The lord took an angel."
After SCS, John went to school for criminal justice at Roger Williams in Rhode Island. His first work was with juvenile delinquents.
"He loved to help other people, and started with the kids," David said.
When another classmate, singer songwriter Dusty Pas'cal, first moved to Skaneateles in eighth grade from an even more rural community, it was pretty lonely -- until John Kelly came up and introduced himself.
"He was the first one to come up and talk to me," Pas'cal said. "I loved him, he was my friend, he was everybody's friend."