Massachusetts Community Mourns the Loss of a Dedicated Citizen Journalist

Larry Kelley was 62

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to Larry Kelley, a well-known blogger in Amherst, Mass. who died Friday as a result of a two-vehicle car crash.

In the profile he linked to on his blog Only in Amherst, it is noted that two of his most popular recurring features were DUI Dishonor Roll and Party House of the Weekend (the latter, part of often skewering coverage of the local college student community). Meanwhile, an article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette leaves no doubt about the writer’s commitment to his native surroundings:

Kelley was an Amherst institution. The University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate and father of two ran a karate school in South Amherst for 28 years. He wrote a column for the Amherst Bulletin for 14 years. He once beat Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks in a martial arts fight with his signature kick.

Via Facebook, Mary Carey, who works for the Northwestern District Attorney’s office that is investigating the crash, praised Kelley’s journalism skills. She is a former reporter and current adjunct professor of journalism at UMass Amherst:

Amherst lost its most colorful character and most dedicated, passionate chronicler in Larry Kelley. I don’t know if anyone else even comes close. Someone posed the question on his blog once of whether he was a Don Quixote or a Bob Woodward. Neither of them had it on Larry.

I don’t think he received many–or any–civic awards or even deference, but as far as reporting goes, he was the real deal. I don’t think we know what we had until it’s gone. God bless to his family.”

A memorial is scheduled for Thursday and his funeral will take place Friday. RIP.

Image via: Twitter