TOTH’s Father Colin Kelly Retires After 27 Years

TOTH’s Susan Sprake presents the Kellys with a trip to Ireland on behalf of the congregation. Photo by TK Thompson/
Los Alamos Daily Post
Father Colin P. Kelly’s 27-year tenure as Rector of Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church in Los Alamos has come to an end.
His congregation gathered at the church Saturday to roast the beloved Pastor and his wife Sue Ellen Kelly and to “launch them into a new adventure.”
“It’s been a great ride … 27 years … it’s been a beautiful life,” Pastor Kelly said as he looked out over his congregation Saturday evening. “These are my friends, we’ve shared so many weddings, so many funerals over all of these years … it’s just been beautiful.”
The Pastor married Sue Ellen at Trinity on the Hill after becoming Rector in 1986. Together the couple had five children including Brent, Melinda, Scott, Kristin and Todd. Scott recently died from complications of an asthma attack.
“We have been blessed by this congregation,” Sue Ellen said. “This has been our home for all of these years and it’s going to be really hard to leave.”
The Kellys have no plans to move away from Los Alamos, she said, adding that they do intend to make a trip to New York for the Pastor’s 50th reunion at West Point.
Pastor Kelly graduated from West Point in 1963. He followed in the footsteps of his famous father, Colin P. Kelly Jr., who was shot down in the Phillipines in December 1942, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.   
Pastor Kelly went on to serve in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1983 after 20 years of service.
His final Sunday with the congregation at TOTH is May 12, where he and his wife will be at all three services.
Looking to the future, many have asked what we will do next,” Pastor Kelly said. “The truth is that the Lord has not yet revealed that to us.”
Visiting pastors will hold church services at TOTH until a new pastor is chosen.
About 300 people attended the party Saturday evening celebrating the retirement of Father Colin Kelly. Photo by TK Thompson/


Father Colin Kelly and Sue Ellen Kelly enjoyed themselves, even with the ‘roasting.’ Photo by TK Thompson/

The Choir serenaded the Kellys with their favorite hymns and Irish songs as well. Photo by TK Thompson/


Many guests greeted Father Kelly. Photo by TK Thompson/


The Churchwomen of Trinity On The Hill prepared their usual sumptuous feast at the party. Photo by TK Thompson/


Father Kelly’s daughter Kristin Kelly looks on in amusement as the Kellys get a laugh during the ‘roast.’ Photo by TK Thompson/

Father Kelly was invited to join the Hillstompers Band for several numbers. Photo by TK Thompson/


Charlotte Stephens looks on as the Hillstompers perform. Photo by TK Thompson/

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