Robert A. "Ace" Kelm, a longtime resident of Milton, passed away peacefully April 21, 2021. He was the beloved husband of the late Beatrice M. (Sullivan). Devoted father of Maryellen Skusevich and husband Tom of Milton, Bob Kelm and wife Lauren of Methuen, Bill Kelm and wife Sandy of Austin TX, and Steve Kelm and wife Renee of Eliot, ME. He was also the cherished grandfather of Julie and Katie Skusevich, Stacey, Bobby, Brian, Amy, Timothy, Gavin, Caroline, Daniel Kelm and his great grandson William Sills. Brother of Richard Kelm of Stoughton and Barbara Curran of Barnstable. Mr. Kelm was a 38 year employee of New England Telephone and Telegraph. He served his country in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Agatha Church, Milton, Tuesday morning, April 27 at 10:30 AM. Visitation and burial are private.
Ace fell in love with his wife (Bebe) when they were young. It was her eyes that hooked him. She could talk with her eyes and she had that look right to the very end of her time on this earth. Theirs was a very special kind of love. You would be hard pressed for times to see one without the other. Ace & Bea were truly soulmates and the love they shared left an indelible mark on their children and grandchildren. Ace loved his grandkids, Brian: Julie, Stacey, Amy, Bobby, Katie, Timothy, Gavin, Caroline, Daniel and his great- grandson – Will. They were crazy about him and loved him dearly. He would take them to the Airport Restaurant in Hampton where they saw planes take off while having breakfast. He would teach them how to play his favorite card games; Texas, crazy eights and cribbage. He would draw cartoon characters for them to color in. He would create egg hunts on Easter and spoil them with too many gifts on Christmas. They were the center of his world and it showed. Next to Bebe and his grandchildren, Ace loved the beach. He spent a lot of time at Hampton Beach while growing up with his friends. At 28 he bought two cottages right across from the beach and those quickly became a beloved retreat for him and his family to share to this day. Ace took care of the cottages: The Maryellen and The Robert J. with meticulous skill. His handyman skills allowed him to keep the cottages up to date for Bea and the kids and the tenants he had most summers. Beautiful flowers always adorned the porch and deck of the Maryellen and as well the back cottage - The Robert J. Ace looked forward to the summer vacation when the family came together to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. This is a Kelm tradition to this day. Papa Ace certainly had a fondness for the seafood fare that was available at Hampton Beach – especially lobster and steamed or fried clams. A long-time family friend, Wardy, would dig and provide select steamers from the Seabrook Beach flats because he knew how much Ace loved them. He once mentioned to his son,Bob,that he wished his father could have afforded seafood when Ace was a youngster. He loved riding waves at the beach and going to watch the bandstand concerts. Everyone knew who Ace was since he was a resident of Hampton for nearly 65 years. He loved sitting on the big front deck of the front cottage waving to all his neighbors walking up and down the street. Another love of Ace’s was the Boston Red Sox baseball team. Normally Ace set up his radio right next to his favorite porch glider. Not before too long, you’d surely find him taking a nap by the second or third inning. He loved those summer days. When he was not at the cottage he was at the kids/grandkids sporting events, birthday parties, holiday parties, you name it, he was always there. He loved documenting everything that had to do with each child and grandchild. He kept scrap books with pictures and articles of his entire life and his kids’ lives and he loved taking home videos of his family. Ace had a very tight group of friends since grammar school, and they all graduated from Hyde Park High. He stayed in touch with these friends all their lives. Ace and Bea exceled at hosting theme parties for their friends during the 50’s and 60’s at their Milton home on Waldeck Road. As time rolled on Ace would host Poker Afternoon in the cellar of his home. One friendship in particular started way back when Ace was in the first grade. Eddy Coughlin and Ace became fast friends and remained friends to this day. They always spoke on the phone and were able to see each other for one last time within the last few months. Ace loved spending time with his friends. Ace provided for his young family by working overtime every week. Having grown up during the Great Depression Ace with his sister, Barbara, and brother, Richard, they certainly appreciated the value of a dollar. They were poor but through a solid work ethic and working multiple jobs they got everything they needed to succeed. Because of Ace’s exceptional work ethic, Maryellen, Bob, Bill and Steve benefited from the fruits of his labor and they all went on to be successful in their respective professions. He was an exemplary role model to his children. He was also a “jack of all trades”. He had skills in carpentry which came in very handy. He would help friends and family whenever they needed something fixed around the house. Ace had wonderful caretakers that made it possible for him and Bea to stay in their Milton home during most of the year and would then travel with him to his cottages in the summer. In the end, it was family, friends and exceptional caretakers – Empy, Marta, Maggie, Ceclia & Virginia - that helped provide him with the care, support and love he required in his final days. Empy was with Ace for the longest and he truly loved her. Ace was known for his sarcastic and dry humor. He always kept a straight face when joking around with someone, which made it very tough to tell whether he was joking or not. This humor became his staple, and it is something we will all miss dearly. Ace was one of a kind. He really did “break the mold” with his personality, his work ethic, and his morals and values. He held a great love for his family and friends and this legacy is his greatest gift to us. He reminds us with his absence of how fleeting life is but the memories we have created with this wonderful man will last forever. Thank you, Ace, for being the greatest husband, father, grandfather and friend to so many. We love you so much. We will miss you forever but we know you are always present in our hearts.
To send flowers to Robert's family, please visit our floral store.